Financial incentive models to improve adherence (I)

Approach or solution
Reimbursing the cost of an mHealth tool through adherence rewards

 

Organisation or initiative
Research publication:
Lee, J., Bae, S., Park, D., Kim, Y., & Park, J. (2020). The effectiveness of a monetary reimbursement model for weight reduction via a smartphone application: a preliminary retrospective study. Scientific Reports, 10(1), 1-7.

 

URL or reference
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-72908-5

 

Summary of the innovation
This is a study of a financial incentive model to encourage adherence to a weight loss programme delivered through a commercial and publicly available mobile application.
Around 2000 people in Korea made an upfront purchase for a 16-week mobile health weight loss programme, the cost of which was fully reimbursed to them if they sustained regular weight monitoring and documentation of their meals.
The study showed that approximately half of the enrolled participants adhered to this programme and experienced significantly better weight loss than those who did not adhere.
This study was not seeking to generate revenue to fund the programme itself, as it was grant funded. The research objective was specifically to determine the role of a financial reward (reimbursement) model on adherence.
Although the requirement for an upfront payment could prove an issue for equality of access to a mobile health programme, this financial model for reimbursing adherence to a programme may at times be a suitable option instead of direct subsidy of the solution.

 

Use cases supported
mHealth use cases with a behavioural component
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