Patient mobile health (mHealth) is beginning to move beyond just a “cool technology” and toward more practical approaches for care delivery. According to PEW Research, over 90% of the world’s population has some type of mobile device, which makes mHealth technology an important connection point for both local and global health. This technology will bring:
- New apps that connect patients to physicians for real-time monitoring of vital information. Innovations include heart rate, pulse, blood pressure, blood sugar, weight, body temperature, symptoms of asthma, etc.
- Expanded use of SMS (Short Message Systems) to send health information tips and reminders to patients. Text messaging was used at a Los Angeles county hospital to motivate patients that had used the ER as their primary source of care to have increase protocol compliance and decreased use of the ER.
- Responsive websites that act like apps fall into favor over mobile applications given that the smartphone market is still restricted to 56% of the US adult population.
Wearable technologies will be among the most compelling innovations in 2015. These will be found in both devices and clothing embedded with fiber optic sensors that can capture track patient data. One of the most important trends will be the inclusion of biofeedback as a way to engage consumers in their health.
Here are some statistics to consider:
- 59% said mHealth will change how information on health issues is found
- 51% said mHealth will change how providers or services send general healthcare information
- 49% said mHealth will change their overall health management
- 48% said mHealth would change how they manage chronic conditions
- 48% said mHealth would change how they communicate with providers
- 52% said mHealth would make healthcare more convenient
- 48% said mHealth will improve healthcare quality
- 46% said mHealth will substantially reduce healthcare costs