SOURCE: Healthwise

November 24, 2008 14:00 ET

Healthwise® Ix® Conversations Win 2008 Award From DMAA: The Care Continuum Alliance

Innovative Technology Advances Disease Management

BOISE, ID--(Marketwire - November 24, 2008) - Healthwise Information Therapy (Ix) Conversations -- multimedia virtual coaching programs that help people make better health decisions -- won today the 2008 Outstanding Technology/Innovative Tool Award from DMAA: The Care Continuum Alliance.

The DMAA program recognizes outstanding achievements in the science and practice of population-based chronic disease care. Healthwise Ix Conversations, along with 6 entries for the Outstanding Technology/Innovative Tool category, were evaluated on seven core criteria: commitment, program design, implementation, innovation, outcomes-based orientation, scope and potential impact, and vision/leadership.

A new tool for health plans, providers, portals, and disease management organizations, Ix Conversations help health care consumers self-manage major health issues like heart disease, diabetes, asthma, healthy weight, and smoking cessation. Each Ix Conversation is uniquely engaging. Adapted from the computer-gaming industry, Ix Conversations make learning about complex health issues and making behavior changes easier and, when appropriate, entertaining.

"Interactive tools that help people do more for themselves and ask for the care they need can reduce costs, improve quality, and ease staffing shortages," said Donald W. Kemper, Healthwise founder and CEO. "The DMAA's recognition of Healthwise Ix Conversations as the winner in outstanding technology and innovation confirms that people can make better health decisions with virtual coaching tools."

Each Ix Conversation guides people through a series of questions about their conditions using voice, animations, and multimedia effects. For example, the Ix Conversation on Beta-Blockers to Prevent Another Heart Attack uses an animated character, "Nora (short for Noradrenaline)," to explain what happens after a heart attack and how beta-blockers prevent future heart attacks. The product also uses motivational interviewing and evidence-based behavior change science proven effective in psychological counseling to inspire people to commit to action plans.

Ix Conversations use a Web-based, Flash design with an intelligent playback engine that loads and streams audio, graphics, and animation files. The complex, multipath technology structure responds to a person's input to create a unique experience and provide just the information the person needs and wants.

Ix Conversations can support existing disease management programs, by reaching more patients at a low cost and helping nurse coaches increase patient knowledge and confidence. They can be placed on consumer portals, health plan Web sites, or hospital portals. And Ix Conversations can be prescribed by a health care provider through links in a secure e-mail, or programmed on kiosks in waiting rooms or other locations. Ix Conversations help people find their own unique motivation and path to behavior change on these topics:

--  Getting Active
--  Healthy Eating
--  Healthy Thinking
--  Healthy Weight
--  Quitting Smoking Again
--  Sleeping Well
--  Asthma and Controller Medicines
--  Beta-Blockers to Prevent Another Heart Attack
--  Daily Aspirin to Prevent Heart Attacks
--  Diabetes and A1c testing
--  Dealing With Low Back Pain
    

Healthwise Ix Conversations have also been recognized with awards from the American Academy of Family Physicians and Consumer Health World for helping educate patients and stimulate engagement in health decisions. To request a password to demo Healthwise Ix Conversations, visit www.healthwise.org.

About Healthwise

Healthwise is a nonprofit organization with a mission to help people make better health decisions. Nearly 111 million times a year, people turn to Healthwise information to learn how to do more for themselves, ask for the care they need, and say "no" to the care they don't need. Healthwise partners with health plans, hospitals, disease management companies, and health Web sites to provide up-to-date, evidence-based information to the people they serve. To learn more about the Healthwise Information Therapy (Ix) Solution, visit www.healthwise.org or call 1.800.706.9646.

© Copyright 2008, Healthwise, Incorporated.

Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise.

Ix is a trademark of the Center for Information Therapy.

1.800.706.9646

www.healthwise.org

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