Mhealth wanted by one in three patients


According to the results of a recent study, one third of people would like to communicate with their doctors over mobile.

A new poll conducted by HealthDay and Harris Interactive has shown that owners of smartphones and tablets are already keen to use mhealth services over those devices in order to help them to interact with their physicians.

However, the demand for mobile health services is outpacing the number of providers ready to offer.

Though many patients are already using their smartphones for sending messages and finding useful information online, those same people are also interested in using mhealth services so that they can upload health metrics or receive telehealth diagnoses through these same devices.

mhealthThere were 2,050 adults who took part in the mhealth survey, and among them, many were interested in using their smartphones.

Among those who participated in the survey, 37 percent expressed interest in using mhealth opportunities to book appointments and ask questions online. This is a capability that is becoming increasingly common. The respondents also expressed that 35 percent of them would like the ability to receive reminders to take medications or to renew prescriptions. They also said that they would like to be able to receive diagnostic test results over this channel.

Among those respondents who said that they wanted to be able to take advantage of a “movable doctors office” through mhealth, 38 percent wanted to be able to use their device to check their blood pressure. Another 34 percent said that they would like to use an app for diet or exercise tracking. Yet another 32 percent said that they would be interested in taking a photograph of an affected part of their body to send to a physician in order to obtain a diagnosis.

Though the interest expressed in mhealth was strong among all of the various age groups, from the youngest to senior citizens, from the side of the healthcare providers, the infrastructure that was provided remains lacking in terms of keeping up with potential demand. The issue, according to the report on the poll, is that there aren’t adequate incentives to develop portals and apps that will allow the patients to communicate with their healthcare professionals online. Moreover, at the moment, the lion’s share of physician IT budgets are currently being directed toward compliance with mandated initiatives.

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