What happens when Medication Health Education meets Creativity and Technology? Well, I think the answer is VUCA Health. This innovative new platform through which to deliver customized video-based education to patients about their medication is definitely on the cutting-edge of the patient education industry. As such, I was thrilled to be able to chat with Kim Russo PharmD and Chief Clinical Officer of VUCA Health about their service. Are you interested in learning about how VUCA Health might help your pharmacy or organization deliver quality video-based content to your patients? Grab a chair, sit down and listen in as I chat with Kim about what VUCA health has to offer.
Kim, thanks for taking the time to talk with my readers here at The Honest Apothecary!
1) Could you tell my readers a little about the origins of your company? When and why did VUCA health start?
VUCA Health (voo-kah) was formed about two years ago with a vision to change how patients, families and caregivers access and utilize medication information. The current and accepted standard of practice – stapling a patient education sheet to the front of a prescription bag or stacking dozens of papers in a discharge folder are outdated, broken and should no longer be tolerated. The founders of VUCA Health recognized the ubiquitous nature of technology, the growing momentum to mobile platforms and therefore the need for more contemporary content.
2) Could you explain exactly what it is your company provides and for whom?
VUCA Health has developed a medication video library with over 2,300 videos covering tens of thousands unique medications (NDC’s). These high quality videos are produced for patients, their families and caregivers. Each video averages about 90 seconds long and covers important elements such as what the medication is, why the patient is taking it and what to expect from the medication – side effects and outcomes. The content is only half of the service. The other half is the proprietary technology we have developed to deliver the content in a customized website for the pharmacy or hospital which provides several other features to empower the patient and connect them back with their pharmacist as needed.
3) Talk to me a little about the “content creation” process that you go through. How do your research your information and prepare for your videos?
Our content creation goes through a very rigorous quality assurance process. First our content is selected based on prescription volume and customer need. Our team of Pharm.D.s culls the information from a variety of reputable clinical resources and hones this down to an actionable and understandable script. Then the script is reviewed by lay people to ensure it is worded clearly. All translations are handled by certified medical translators and the translations are then verified for accuracy. Post-production goes through a similar process where lay people review for understandability and the clinical team review for accuracy. Once all content is approved it is then uploaded into our content management system and reviewed one last time to ensure accuracy.
4) How specific is your content to the exact dosage that a patient has been instructed to take?
For the high volume medications (call it the top two hundred which represents a large portion of dispensed medications) we have a remarkable level of granularity; not only to specific strength but also the typical prescribed frequencies. So for example, take lisinopril, we have content for not only the medication lisinopril but we also have every strength and multiple sig frequencies for each strength. This means that when a patient or family member watches the video, our video actually reads the label to them first before describing why they are taking the medication and what to expect.
5) Let’s talk technology. What are some of the creative ways you are delivering your content to patients?
From a technology perspective we are very proud of the delivery platforms we have created. From the beginning we made the decision not to develop our own app. From our perspective having our own app would greatly diminish the number of people who could benefit from our services and we would find ourselves competing with pharmacies that already have apps. Our path was to provide our content on a website that looks and behaves like an app. By doing this patients and families can access our content via a QR Code on their prescription label or by clicking a link emailed to them by their pharmacy. We too have services that allow pharmacists and technicians to share this content in their pharmacies, while delivering medications to the patient’s home or by opening up access to the content in their own apps or online services.
6) So, who are the potential clients for your products? Where would you like to see these videos being used?
We view our clients as any organization, healthcare or technology, which has a need to provide medication information. The days of PDF files are over and we would like to see our videos as an alternative for those patients that prefer electronic information.
7) What kind of contracting or licensing options are available?
Our business model is oriented as a subscription model directly with the healthcare provider (e.g. pharmacy). We do not like the idea of selling ads on our website or driving traffic to other sites. This is about keeping the trust intact between patients and their pharmacists.
8) If any of my readers want to find out more about the great medication solutions at VUCA Health, where should they go?
Interested readers can visit our website and submit an inquiry or they can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call our direct office line 407.878.1662.
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