Chronic Conditions: A Snapshot

Diabetes, heart disease, and cancer are all among the top ten causes of death in the United States.

Death Chart

The burden of disease is shifting to lifestyle related disorders. These lead to the major chronic illnesses, affecting >60% of adults in the country. Chronic conditions reduce quality of life and result in significant healthcare costs. There is a significant body of evidence suggesting that, the burden of chronic disease will continue to grow at an alarming pace over the next ten years. India will be the Diabetic Capital with ischemic heart disease following closely.

Keeping these world wide trend organizations like the American Diabetes AssociationIndian Diabetic Association, the American Heart Association, and Healthy People2020 are advocating for increased efforts around the prevention and management of these diseases.

Proactive Preventive Care Coupled with Early Disease Detection & Management are critical to Drive Quality of Life

Active Wellness Prevention strategies aim to reduce the chance of developing the disease, while management strategies aim to enhance quality of life and reduce complications related to the disease. The Active Wellness Tools help to achieve these goals, including:

  • Lifestyle modifications
  • Health screenings, and
  • Medication management
  • Proactive Test Management
  • Doc on Call

1.  Lifestyle & Behavioral Change

Lifestyle modifications  include: Following a balanced nutrition & physical activity plan, tobacco cessation status, and alcohol use counseling. Evaluating 360 Degree health covering Mental Social, Emotional & Physical Health. Building a healthy diet, defining physical activity, eliminating tobacco use, and reducing excessive alcohol use are essential for both successful prevention and management of all chronic diseases. Many of these lifestyle practices are key risk factors for multiple diseases. Tobacco use, for example, is a major risk factor that increases the chance of developing diabetes, heart disease, stroke, as well as a number of cancers.

Burden of Disease

2. Regular Health Screenings

Health screenings are key interventions that enable not only early detection but also prevent exacerbation of chronic diseases. WHOLE OF LIFE SCREENINGS is the KEY to TOTAL HEALTH. The importance of screenings increases with age, as the risk of developing a chronic disease increases along the journey of health.

Regular screenings in Preconception and Pregnancy lead to delivery of a healthy child.

  • Diet Physical Activity - Monitoring for lifestyle changes help proactively determine the risk and plan interventions to ward of disease.
  • Chronic Disease Risk Scoring: Proactive assessments & scoring help identify Diabetes / Hypertension and metabolic disorders. Facilitate early interventions and prevent / retard onset of adverse events.
  • Regular Screenings for Adults for Cancer in the early stages leading to intervention for better outcomes.
  • Timely Vaccinations prevent infective disorders through life.
Health Screening

3. Comprehensive Medication Management

ActiveMED: Is a comprehensive MTM for those already affected by one or more chronic conditions, comprehensive medication therapy management is another important tool in preventing complications and improving quality of life.

Medications help control among others blood pressure levels to reduce the risk of heart attacks and stroke. Control blood sugar levels to reduce the risk of eye disease, kidney disease, and heart disease. Manage age related changes that can cause disability and reduce quality of life.

Effective medications requires a person to be adherent to the treatment plan established between the patient and the provider. Understanding the disease, the importance of lifestyle modifications and medications, and potential barriers are key elements to ensure treatment adherence. This also covers Engagement, Education and Empowerment for compliance.

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Evidence

What Role Care Team & Pharmacists Play?

Pharmacists & care team members can help educate patients on their medications and address questions relating to efficiency, effectiveness, side effects, appropriateness, and drug interactions.

Utilizing pharmacists is advantageous in preventing and managing chronic diseases. As the most accessible healthcare professional, they can improve patient outcomes and serve as a tool for patients and other providers. The value of pharmacists’ involvement in patient care is well established, and integrating comprehensive medication management as an ongoing component of chronic disease management has shown to result in significant improvement in quality of life and lowering of healthcare costs.

Community, ambulatory care, and clinical pharmacists already play an important role in performing medication therapy management. Coupled with deviceless monitoring the care teams and pharmacists can communicate with patients through telepharmacy services and a variety of additional methods that can engage people in ways that fit their daily lives.

Active Wellness gives additional benefits of AI driven health improvements include facilitating the process of identifying patients in need of screenings, assist in monitoring the status of their chronic conditions, identifying the gaps in care. Improve compliance and address drug adherence and other treatments and lifestyle-related issues. The combination of data, data science, increased health screenings, monitoring and technology enabled access to clinical expertise, coupled with lifestyle/behavioral management has the potential to significantly reduce the burden of chronic disease for the aging population.