Co-creating Digital Health Solutions for Patients and Providers in Rural California
The fields, farms, and orchards of California’s Central Valley yield much of the fresh, healthy produce consumed across the United States, but its residents face added health risks from pollution, poverty and obstacles to accessing health care.
As the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption of telehealth and other digital health tools, Central Valley residents risked being left even further behind.
ACTIVATE is the acronym for “Accountability, Coordination, and Telehealth In the Valley to Achieve Transformation and Equity.”
Research partners from MITRE, CITRIS Health, UC Davis and UC Merced worked with health care teams at Livingston Community Health alongside six patients and community members to identify digital health barriers and co-create new ways to address them.
Current Project Activities: A Promising Pilot
A 2021 pilot enrolled 47 adults with diabetes and/or high blood pressure. Patients received help with choosing and using devices, such as tablets or phones, so that their health care teams could engage them in monitoring and improving their own health. Providers also received coaching and digital health training, as well as upgraded equipment.
The results were promising, with patients experiencing improvements in their hemoglobin A1c levels (for patients with diabetes) and blood pressure (for those with high blood pressure). In addition to these clinical results, patients reported increased
In 2022, the team will expand the pilot to three California community health centers, followed by a sustainability roadmap so more health care teams and patients can work together to improve health outcomes, using technology that works for all involved.