Mitesh Patel

Mitesh Patel
  • Assistant Professor of Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine
  • Assistant Professor of Health Care Management, The Wharton School

Contact Information

Research Interests: behavior change, behavioral economics, connected health, digital health, mobile technology, wearable devices

Links: Penn Medicine Nudge Unit, LinkedIn


Mitesh S. Patel, MD, MBA, MS is Director of the Penn Medicine Nudge Unit, the world’s first behavioral design team embedded within a health system. He is an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Health Care Management at the Perelman School of Medicine and The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Patel is on faculty at the Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation and the Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics, and is a Staff Physician at the Crescenz VA Medical Center in Philadelphia. His research focuses on combining insights from behavioral economics with scalable technology platforms to improve health and health care. He has led more than 20 clinical trials in partnership with health systems, insurers, employers, and community organizations that tested ways to design nudges, incentives, and gamification to change clinician and patient behavior. This work includes digital health interventions using wearable devices and smartphones, and health system interventions using the electronic health record.

Dr. Patel is Co-Director of the Wharton MBA Course on E-Health and the Perelman School of Medicine Course on Health Care Systems. He has received several national research awards including a Career Development Award from VA HSR&D, a Clinical Scientist Development Award from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, 2018 Outstanding Junior Investigator of the Year from SGIM, and the 2018 Alice Hersh New Investigator Award from AcademyHealth. Dr. Patel’s work has been published in leading medical journals including the New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, Annals of Internal Medicine, and Health Affairs. His work has been featured in numerous media outlets including the New York Times, NBC Today Show, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Forbes, Bloomberg, Time, NPR and CNN.


B.S. (Biochemistry, Economics), University of Michigan, 2004.

M.D. (Medicine), University of Michigan, 2009.

M.B.A. (Health Care Management), The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, 2009.

M.S. (Health Policy Research), Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, 2014.


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Selected Publications

Patel MS, Volpp KG, Asch DA. Nudge units to improve the delivery of health care. New England Journal of Medicine. 2018;378(3):214-21

Patel MS, Kurtzman GW, Kannan S, Small DS, Morris A, Honeywell S, Leri D, Rareshide CLA, Day SC, Mahoney KB, Volpp KG, Asch DA. Effect of an automated patient dashboard using active choice and peer comparison performance feedback to physicians on statin prescribing rates: The PRESCRIBE Cluster Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Network Open. 2018;1(3):e180818. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.0818

Chokshi NP, Adusumalli S, Small DS, Morris A, Feingold J, Ha Y, Lynch MD, Rareshide C, Hilbert V, Patel MS. Loss-Framed Financial Incentives and Personalized Goal Setting to Increase Physical Activity Among Ischemic Heart Disease Patients Using Wearable Devices: The ACTIVE REWARD Randomized Trial. J Am Heart Assoc. 2018; 7(12):e009173.

Greysen SR, Patel MS. Bedrest is toxic: Why mobility matters in the hospital. Annals of Internal Medicine. 2018;169(2):HO2-HO3.

Patel MS, Benjamin EJ, Volpp KG, Fox CS, Small DS, Massaro JM, Lee JJ, Hilbert V, Valentino M, Taylor DH, Manders ES, Mutalik K, Zhu J, Wang W, Murabito JM. Effect of a game-based intervention designed to enhance social incentives to increase physical activity among families: The BE FIT Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Internal Medicine. 2017;177(11):1586-1593.

Patel MS, Foschini L, Kurtzman GW, Zhu J, Wang W, Rareshide CAL, Zbikowski SM. Using wearable devices and smartphones to track physical activity: Initial activation, sustained use, and step counts across sociodemographic characteristics in a national sample. Annals of Internal Medicine. 2017;167(10):755-757.

Sedrak MS, Myers JS, Small DS, Nachamkin I, Ziemba JB, Murray D, Kurtzman GW, Zhu J, Wang W, Mincarelli D, Danoski D, Wells BP, Berns JS, Brennan PJ, Hanson CW, Dine CJ, Patel MS. Effect of a price transparency intervention in the electronic health record on clinician ordering of inpatient laboratory tests: The PRICE randomized clinical trial. JAMA Internal Medicine. 2017;177(7):939-945.

Wong CA, Miller V, Murphy K, Small D, Ford C, Willi S, Feingold J, Morris A, Ha Y, Zhu J, Wang W, Patel MS. Effect of financial incentives on glucose monitoring adherence and glycemic control among adolescents and young adults with type 1 diabetes: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Pediatrics. 2017;171(12):1176-1183.

Patel MS, Asch DA, Rosin R, Small DS, Bellamy SL, Heuer J, Sproat S, Hyson C, Haff N, Lee SM, Wesby L, Hoffer K, Shuttleworth D, Taylor D, Hilbert V, Zhu J, Yang L, Wang X, Volpp KG. Framing financial incentives to increase physical activity among overweight and obese adults: a randomized, controlled trial.  Ann Intern Med. 2016;164(6):385-394.

Patel MS, Asch DA, Rosin R, Small DS, Bellamy SL, Eberbach K, Walters KJ, Haff N, Lee SM, Wesby L, Hoffer K, Shuttleworth D, Taylor D, Hilbert V, Zhu J, Yang L, Wang X, Volpp KG. Individual versus team-based financial incentives to increase physical activity: a randomized, controlled trial. JGIM. 2016;31(7):746-754.

Patel MS, Volpp KG, Rosin R, Bellamy SL, Small DS, Fletcher MA, Osman-Koss R, Brady JL, Haff N, Lee SM, Wesby L, Hoffer K, Shuttleworth D, Taylor DH, Hilbert V, Zhu J, Yang L, Wang X, Asch DA.  A randomized trial of social comparison feedback and financial incentives to increase physical activity. Am J Health Promot. 2016;30(6):416-424.

Patel MS, Asch DA, Troxel AB, Fletcher MA, Osman-Koss R, Brady JL, Wesby L, Hilbert V, Zhu J, Wang W, Volpp KG. Premium-based financial incentives did not promote workplace weight loss in a 2013-15 study. Health Affairs. 2016; 35(1):71-79.

Patel MS, Patel N, Small DS, Rosin R, Rohrbach JI, Stromberg N, Hanson CW, Asch DA. Change in length of stay and readmissions among hospitalized medical patients after inpatient medicine service adoption of mobile secure text messaging. JGIM. 2016;31(8):863-870.

Patel MS, Day SC, Halpern SD, Hanson CW, Martinez JR, Honeywell S, Volpp KG. Change in generic medication prescription rates after health system-wide redesign of default options within the electronic health record. JAMA Internal Medicine. 2016;176(8):847-848.

Patel MS, Volpp KG, Small DS, Wynn C, Zhu J, Yang L, Honeywell S, Day SC. Using active choice within the electronic health record to increase physician ordering and patient completion of high-value cancer screening tests. Healthcare: The Journal of Delivery Science and Innovation. Published Online May 11,2016. DOI: 10.1016/j.hjdsi.2016.04.005

Patel MS, Asch DA, Volpp KG.  Wearable devices as facilitators, not drivers, of health behavior change. JAMA. 2015;313(5):459-460.

Case MA, Burwick HA, Volpp KG, Patel MS. Accuracy of smartphone applications and wearable devices for tracking physical activity data. JAMA. 2015;313(6):625-626.

Patel MS, Volpp KG, Small DS, Hill AS, Even-Shoshan O, Rosenbaum L, Ross RN, Bellini L, Zhu J, Silber JH.  Association of the 2011 ACGME resident duty hour reforms with mortality and readmissions among hospitalized Medicare patients.  JAMA. 2014;312(22):2364-2373.

Patel MS, Day S, Howell JT, Lautenbach GL, Nierman EH, Volpp KG. Using default options within the electronic health record to increase the prescribing of generic equivalent medications: A quasi experimental study. Ann Intern Med. 2014;161:S44-52.

Patel MS, Reed DA, Loertscher L, McDonald FS, Arora VM. Teaching residents to provide cost-conscious care – A national survey of residency program directors. JAMA Internal Medicine2014;174(3):470

Patel MS, Volpp KG. Leveraging insights from behavioral economics to increase the value of health-care service provision. JGIM. 2012;27:1544-1547.

Patel MS, Davis MM, Lypson ML. The VALUE Framework: Training residents to provide value-based care for their patients. JGIM. 2012;27(9);1210-1214.

Patel MS, Davis MM, Lypson ML. Advancing medical education by teaching health policy. New England Journal of Medicine. 2011;364(8):695-697.


Past Courses


    This course will introduce students to the main components of Health Information Technology (HIT) and how HIT currently effects, and in the future, may change health care operating models. Although it will not prepare students for primary technology management positions, it will help them understand the role of information technology in the success of the delivery system and other important healthcare processes. It will provide a foundation that will prepare them as managers, investors and consultants to rely upon or manage information technology to accomplish delivery system objectives. The course will give special attention to key health care processes, and topics such as the drive for provider quality and cost improvements, the potential ability to leverage clinical data for care improvement and product development, the growth of new information technologies for consumer directed healthcare and telemedicine, the strategies and economics of individual HIT companies and the role of government. The course relies heavily on industry leaders to share their ideas and experiences with students.

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Knowledge @ Wharton


Latest Research

Esther Y. Hsiang, Shivan J. Mehta, Dylan Small, Charles A. L. Rareshide, Christopher K. Snider, Susan C. Day, Mitesh Patel (2019), Association of Primary Care Clinic Appointment Time With Clinician Ordering and Patient Completion of Breast and Colorectal Cancer Screening, JAMA Network Open, 2(5):e193403.
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Can a Lottery Help You Lose Weight?

Companies are offering everything from free gym memberships to Fitbits, but new Wharton research finds that cash lotteries provide powerful incentives for people to take control of their health.

Knowledge @ Wharton - 2018/09/18
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