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Patient engagement -How important are mHealth tools? '
Jennifer Highland

mHealth tools can increase patient engagement

According to a recent report, there are now more than 165,000 mobile health apps on the market.  Nearly two thirds focus on general wellness such as fitness, lifestyle, stress, and diet. However, the remaining third is made up by apps focused on specific health conditions (9%), medication information and reminders (6%), and women’s health and pregnancy (7%).

A survey conducted in 2015 by Rock Health revealed that:

  • 4 out of 5 internet connected adults use some kind of digital health technology
  • 52% of consumers strongly agree they are responsible for their own health.
  • 92% of users agree that they should be the one controlling their health data
  • 80% of users would share their health data with their care provider to get better care [1]

Based on these numbers, it is strongly suggested that healthcare providers can adopt mobile technology to improve patient engagement.

A different survey conducted by Technology Advice stated that patient engagement through mHealth tools is one of the defining trends in U.S. healthcare.

The survey disclosed that:

  • 80% of patients say that digital services play an important role when choosing a physician
  • 60% of patients feel it’s important for a physician to follow up with them after an appointment
  • 80% of all patients would like to view their results and diagnosis online [2]

Not surprisingly, 60% of millennials support the use of telehealth and 71% would like for their doctor to use mobile applications [3]. However, young people are not the only ones embracing this type of technology. A senior health and technology survey revealed that over 90% of seniors have a health improvement goal and want to use mHealth tools to achieve it [4].

In spite of this growing trend, most healthcare providers have not yet fully embraced this technology, even though it is very important for patient engagement, and it is now seen as a vital part of the solution to solve many healthcare challenges. MHealth tools can help people self-manage their health and well-being, alert healthcare professionals in case of any changes in an individual’s condition, and support medication adherence. This technology also helps care providers deliver more efficient and cost-effective care. Now more than ever, healthcare authorities need to adopt new technologies to help meet these challenges and to keep up with their patients’ demands.

MHealth technology is here to stay, and healthcare providers can reap the benefits and build a better relationship with their patients sooner rather than later if they take the time to learn more about the different solutions available out there. For example, a good way of selecting an mHealth solution is by taking into consideration a manufacturer’s technical and clinical evaluation studies, randomised clinical trials, as well as quality stamps such as the CE Mark and ISO certifications.

The Monsenso solution is a clinically-validated, CE Marked mhealth solution consisting of a smartphone app for patients and web portal for healthcare providers that is widely used in the prevention and treatment of common behavioural conditions such as depression and anxiety. It can also be configured to prevent and treat severe mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, PTSD and schizophrenia. It is currently being used by over 1,000 patients across the globe and is highly valued by patients and healthcare providers.

References:

[1] Rock Health: 80 percent of internet-connected adults use digital health tools. J. Comstock. MobiHealthNews. (2015, October 19)
http://mobihealthnews.com/47675/rock-health-80-percent-of-internet-connected-adults-use-digital-health-tools

[2] Study: Patients value digital services when choosing physicians. Technology Advice Blog. Cameron Graham. (2015, January 14).
http://technologyadvice.com/blog/healthcare/study-on-patient-engagement/

[3] Millennials pushing for adoption of mobile health technology. MHealth Intelligence. (2015, February 23)
http://mhealthintelligence.com/news/millennials-pushing-for-adoption-of-mobile-health-technology

[3] Seniors turn to mHealth, health IT to enhance patient engagement. Patient Engagement HIT. Sara Heath (2016, February 22)
http://patientengagementhit.com/news/seniors-turn-to-mhealth-health-it-to-enhance-patient-engagement