Democratizing Digital Health in the Evolving Landscape of COVID-19

By Linda Kaleis | Lead Data Scientist

MEMOTEXT is not your average digital health company. We’ve worked in diabetes, mental health, asthma, HIV, rheumatoid arthritis, cognitive decline, rare conditions, you name it. Our clients have stretched from academics, providers, payers, to big pharma. Not only are we condition- and client-agnostic, we challenge ourselves to use different combinations of digital modalities – telephone calls, SMS, apps, voice assistants, online portals, emails – within the programs and products that we launch. 

Moving from Pilotitis to Scalability 

In our lifetime, we’ve launched over 30 some digital health programs – digital journeys we’ve created for end-users to engage with for a set period of time. These programs typically have a start and an end date, and some live to die as pilots. Some may scale and some may not – be it due to client contracts/budget, proprietary material that prevents reuse, minuscule testing periods that inevitably fail to surface improvements in long-term health outcomes, or otherwise. 

Looking towards the future, we are now creating tools that have high potential to be re-usable and scalable to large and most importantly, different audiences and clients. In recent time, we’ve realized that our approach is unique in the marketplace with a need to create such products, and we are harnessing our platform to do just that.  

One of our most recent successful use cases of this is the development of COVID-19RapidScreen – an outreach, intake assessment and follow up tool that can be adapted to different healthcare providers to respond to COVID-19, triggering some kind of intervention protocol downstream. This tool has been deployed in one of Canada’s largest and most diversified homecare organizations, a notable research and teaching hospital in Toronto, as well as Canada’s largest infusion clinic network, with more deployments to come in the immediate future.  The beauty of a modular tool such as this is that we are able to rapidly adapt: 1) data inputs2) the algorithm by which outputs to different patient and clinician populations occur, and 3) communication modalities (IVR, SMS, web, email) to fit the needs of the client, in a co-designed framework and utilizing the existing components on the platform built to-date. 

In essence, the digital tools we are currently creating do not only exist in a vacuum for one particular use-case. We strive to build products that have high modularity related to media, evidence-informed business rules, and data that drives the particular intervention, in order to adapt to the everchanging requirements of healthcare stakeholders amidst an evolving public health crisis. 

What’s our vision? 

MEMOTEXT aspires to liberate digital health, specifically digital patient engagement tools and digital therapeutics, by serving as the backbone of technology required for their creation. We have begun our venture to build out our platform on which not only we can produce, but all healthcare stakeholders (clinicians, patients, business interests alike) can create digital health.

In other words, we are trying to create an open environment for other innovators to come play in.  

In a time of rapid change, particularly with the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s time to move forward with a digital health approach that exponentially creates value for a multitude of stakeholders. It’s time to move on from continuing to do things the way they’ve always been done because they were done like this yesterday and the day before. We call for the Democratization of Digital Health, to harness the intelligence and innovative creativity of fellow producers, a community of which can develop, deploy, test, and support their own digital tools to reach much wider audiences in faster timeframes, on our platform as the enabler. Our producers’ and our own ultimate goal, after all, is to improve patient health and/or meet clinical business needs. Why not remove the roadblocks to achieving this if we have the power to do so? 

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