Mitesh Patel

Mitesh Patel
  • Associate Professor of Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine
  • Associate 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: Personal Website, Penn Medicine Nudge Unit


Mitesh S. Patel, MD, MBA is Director of the Penn Medicine Nudge Unit, the world’s first behavioral design team embedded within a health system. He is the Ralph Muller Presidential Associate 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 a Staff Physician at the Crescenz VA Medical Center in Philadelphia, and a Senior Fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics. His research focuses on combining insights from behavioral economics with scalable technology platforms to improve health and health care. He has led more than 25 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 Director of the VA Advanced Fellowship Program in Health Services Research and Development in Philadelphia and Co-Director of the Wharton MBA Course on E-Health. He has received several national research awards including the 2018 Outstanding Junior Investigator of the Year from SGIM, the 2018 Alice Hersh Emerging Leader Award from AcademyHealth, and the 2019 Young Physician-Scientist Award from ASCI. 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, Harvard Business Review, The Economist, Forbes, 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.


Continue Reading


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


    Healthcare is in the early stages of extraordinary change in the business model of care delivery and financing. This transformation will lead to a system based on the proactive management of health, integration of care across the continuum, blurred boundaries between care providers and purchasers and the placement of the consumer at the center. As has been the case in other industries, this new business model will be based on a foundation of diverse, potent, and well implemented information technology. This course will help prepare students to lead a digital health future. Specifically, the course will cover three major areas. (1)The context of health care information technology: the size, composition and evolution of the digital health market; federal government agencies, and related regulations, that shape the market; leadership roles and factors that enable healthcare organizations to effectively implement and leverage information technology. (2)Emerging technologies that will fuel the transformation of healthcare: artificial intelligence and advanced analytics; interoperability; telehealth; consumer-directed digital health; use of behavioral economics to influence patient and provider decisions. (3)Digital health use by specific sectors of the healthcare industry: healthcare providers; health plans; retail-based primary care; life sciences; wellness and chronic disease management. The course will include lectures from industry leaders who will share their ideas and experiences.


    Arranged with members of the Faculty of the Health Care Systems Department. For further information contact the Department office, Room 204, Colonial Penn Center, 3641 Locust Walk, 898-6861.


    This course is designed to provide the student with an opportunity to gain or enhance knowledge and to explore an area of interest related to health policy research under the guidance of a faculty member. Prerequisite: Permission of Program Director and Faculty Member.

In the News

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.
All Research

In the News

Would COVID-19 Vaccine Nudges Work?

Patients are more likely to get vaccinated when they receive text reminders that a shot is ready and waiting for them, according to the results of a large field experiment.

Knowledge @ Wharton - 8/31/2021
All News

Wharton Magazine

5 Surprising, Cutting-Edge Wharton Collaborations

Global food-crisis solutions, sports leadership, behavior modeling, disrupting education—through new cross-disciplinary partnerships, Wharton is making an impact in some unexpected spaces.

Wharton Magazine - 10/16/2018