alexa Mobile app self-care versus in-office care for stress reduction: a cost minimization analysis.
Bioinformatics & Systems Biology

Bioinformatics & Systems Biology

Journal of Health & Medical Informatics

Author(s): Luxton DD, Hansen RN, Stanfill K

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Abstract We calculated the cost of providing stress reduction care with a mobile phone app (Breathe2Relax) in comparison with normal in-person care, the standard method for managing stress in military and civilian populations. We conducted a cost-minimization analysis. The total cost to the military healthcare system of treating 1000 patients with the app was $106,397. Treating 1000 patients with in-office care cost $68,820. Treatment using the app became less expensive than in-office treatment at approximately 1600 users. From the perspective of the civilian healthcare system, treatment using the app became less expensive than in-office treatment at approximately 1500 users. An online tool was used to obtain data about the number of app downloads and usage sessions. A total of 47,000 users had accessed the app for 10-30 min sessions in the 2.5 years since the release of the app. Assuming that all 47,000 users were military beneficiaries, the savings to the military healthcare system would be $2.7 million; if the 47,000 users were civilian, the savings to the civilian healthcare system would be $2.9 million. Because of the large number of potential users, the total societal savings resulting from self-care using the app may be considerable. © The Author(s) 2014 Reprints and permissions: This article was published in J Telemed Telecare and referenced in Journal of Health & Medical Informatics

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