Psychiatrist Adam Kaplin received a phone call from a patient having unpleasant side effects from a new medication for his mood disorder. When Kaplin checked the patient’s online mood chart, he noticed the patient was reporting stable moods since he started the drug, compared to the highs and lows of the previous weeks.
Thanks to a system called Mood 24/7, Kaplin finds patient participation in mood charting—rating and recording how they feel each day—skyrocketed from 10 to 90 percent. The traditional paper charts used for mood monitoring are often backfilled while patients sit in the waiting room before their appointment.
“I can’t remember what I had for dinner three days ago,” says Kaplin. “How can they remember what their mood was like a week ago? Even when it’s complete, the traditional chart often delivers bad data.”
In 2010, Kaplin met with Remedy Health Media, a health information technology company, and shared his idea for a better system: one that would text patients to ask them to rate their mood each day. People would text a response using a scale from one to 10, and the information would be stored on a HIPAA-secure website.
The company loved his idea. It soon licensed the technology from Johns Hopkins Medicine and built the system. Today, there are more than 15,000 registered users of mood247.com, including patients, doctors and family members. Kaplin says he believes its success comes from the fact that it’s based on something people already use—text messages.