The rise of mobile health
Mobile technology offers new tools for healthcare delivery
Today’s healthcare patients are using mobile devices, apps and gaming to manage their health on their own terms and their own schedules. In this issue of Protocol, we’ll look at the Mobile Health trend, and how physicians and hospitals can adopt new technologies to engage patients and lower healthcare costs.
According to a national survey conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, 85% of U.S. adults own a cell phone, and of that group, 31% have used their phone to search for health or medical information. With our busy schedules and increasing reliance on smart phones, tablets, and wi-fi, mobile health will have a strong presence in the future of healthcare.
Hospitals and physician practices may find that is takes time and resources to leverage these new technologies and train staff to use them, but those organizations that adopt mHealth tools will help cut expenses by providing preventive care and eliminating unnecessary office visits.
Three examples of mHealth that hospitals and practices can start using today:
- Gamification programs that motivate and reward people for positive behavior;
- Medical apps to provide information and feedback on medical conditions; and
- Telehealth applications that allow physicians to provide care at a distance.