The U.S Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HiMSS) released a report titled “Leveraging mobile technology to reduce hospital readmissions.”
According to the Centres for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Medicare has been overwhelmed with excessive hospital re-admissions – with total costs up to $17.5 billion a year. 
From 2007 to 2010, the national re-admissions rate remained at 19.2%, with an average Medicare cost for a hospital readmission stay at $9,600.
Therefore, the Hospital Re-admissions Reduction Program (HRRP), under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), aims to reduce re-admissions for all acute-care hospitals receiving payment under the Medicare Inpatient Prospective Payment System. 
In 2012, more than 2,000 hospitals were penalized for having excessive re-admission rates. The Medicare Payment Advisory Committee (MedPAC) estimates that these hospitals paid an average penalty of $125,000. 
Mobile technology ripe for greater adoption
Hospitals and health care systems are looking into developing new strategies, redesigning discharge procedures, and hiring more staff to follow up with patients at home.
They also need to rely on health information technology to scale their programs since they are also required to meet meaningful use criteria.
Hospitals and health systems are being urged to include mobile technology such as remote monitoring devices to connect patients and clinicians and impact care outside of their organizations.
According to the Pew Mobile technology fact sheet, as of October 2014, 64% of American adults have a smartphone. 
According to the 2015 HIMSS Mobile Technology Survey, 90% of respondents uses at least one type of mobile device to engage patients. 
Mobile health technology has created a demand for the concept of care from any location, which includes being able to communicate, share patient information, and receive services remotely.
The acceptance of mobile technology in the care setting continues to grow. 52% of survey respondents believe that the use of mobile technology will “substantially impact the delivery of healthcare in the future.” An additional 16% noted that the use of mobile technology will “dramatically change the way healthcare is delivered in the future.” 
Respondents also ranked that medication reminders, remote patient monitoring and preventative support care are benefits that mobile technology can deliver on patient care.
Overcoming the barriers
While remote monitoring technology (RMT) and mobile technology improve the quality of care and outcomes overall, barriers still exist.
In the case of mental health, mobile technology solutions like the one offered by Monsenso can help reduce the number of hospital re-admissions as well as the health care spending.
For example, a patient is brought into the emergency room as a consequence of displaying severe symptoms of mental illness.
After a couple of weeks of hospitalisation, the patient is released into the care of a close relative. Even though things seem to be going well, the patient is readmitted to the hospital again after six months.
This scenario can be quite common for people suffering from severe mental illness. Patients receive the treatment they need while being hospitalised, however once they are released into the care of their relatives, they receive no support, which gradually deteriorates their mental health.
It is very seldom that patients suffering from mental illness are called in for follow-up appointments, and as a consequence patients remain “stable” for a short period and then hospitalised after relapses.
Monsenso mobile health solution
The Monsenso mHealth solution can help reduce the number of hospital re-admissions in psychiatric treatment. Once a patient is released from the hospital, clinicians can establish a remote care plan that includes monitoring and self-treatment.
Every day, patients will complete a self-assessment in their smartphone. The information on the self-assessment is synchronized in real-time with the clinical web portal.
With the information obtained from the self-assessments, the system can identify the triggers and early warning signs of all active patients. A clinician can access the system every morning and be informed on which patients may need urgent care.
After accessing the patient’s records and reviewing the patient’s behavioural patterns, the clinician can make an informed decision. He can determine if the patient needs to be called in for an emergency appointment or just monitored more closely.
The clinician can also send an encrypted message to the patient asking if everything is fine and encouraging the patient to reach out if he feels ill.
In addition, the Monsenso mHealth solution provides patients with personalised action plans that suggest certain activities in case the patient displays certain symptoms.
 Leveraging mobile technology to reduce hospital readmissions. Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HiMSS). 2013 http://www.mhealthnews.com/resource/leveraging-mobile-technology-reduce-hospital-readmissions
 Mobile technology fact sheet. Pew Research Center. 2014 http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheets/mobile-technology-fact-sheet/
 Mobile technology survey. Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HiMSS). 2015 http://www.himss.org/ResourceLibrary/genResourceDetailPDF.aspx?ItemNumber=42595