Mount Sinai To Tackle VTE Transitions Of Care With Apps


The Department of Medicine at Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine has been awarded a $500,000 grant awarded by both the Pfizer Independent Grants for Learning and Change fund and the Bristol-Myers Squibb Independent Medical Education fund. The funding will be directed toward research and development efforts underway at Mount Sinai as its researchers look for better ways of incorporating best practices into caring for patients diagnosed with venous thromboembolism, or VTE. Specifically, researchers want to improve care coordination when these patients are moved from one care setting to another, and will develop an app designed to help patients through these transitions.

VTE is an umbrella term used to describe two conditions, deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. Deep venous thrombosis is a condition in which blood clots form in the veins of a patients extremities, usually their legs. It is a common condition among hospitalized patients, particularly at risk are those who are unable to walk or get out of bed. Untreated, DVT can lead to a more dangerous condition called pulmonary embolism, in which blood clots travel to the lungs and obstruct the pulmonary arteries. DVT leads to a pulmonary embolism nearly 30 percent of the time. Pulmonary embolisms themselves are far more dangerous, causing 300,000 deaths in the US per year, and carrying a 30 percent mortality rate when untreated. For survivors, more than 30 percent of patients who have had any form of VTE will go on to develop post-thrombotic syndrome, a chronic condition that causes leg pain, swelling, and ulcers.

For hospitalized patients who have been diagnosed with VTE, the recovery process includes a complicated regimen of medications that last well beyond discharge. Mount Sinai will focus its efforts on supporting patients as they transition out of the hospital and back to their homes while trying to keep up with a complex and sometimes confusing treatment plan. The app that researchers have in mind will be used to track medication adherence, monitor VTE-related symptoms, and communicate with the care team. Patients will be introduced to the app at the bedside by a clinical social worker while still in the hospital. Through the app, this social worker will remain in contact with the patient to ensure that the recovery process goes according to plan.

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