Survey Finds Mobile Health Key to Patient Engagement

February 10, 2015 in News

About 50% of global health care executives believe that within five years mobile health will allow patients to be more proactive participants in their own care, according to a survey by The Economist‘s “Intelligence Unit,” EHR Intelligence reports (Bresnick, EHR Intelligence, 2/9).

Details of Survey

For the survey, researchers polled 144 pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device and public and private health care executives from more than 20 countries, including the U.S.

Respondents were asked about their outlook on mobile health, including questions related to:

  • What technologies they expected their organizations to incorporate within the next five years;
  • Mobile health revenue opportunities; and
  • Barriers to mobile health adoption (Carey, “Intelligence Unit” survey, February 2015).

Findings

Overall, respondents largely expressed optimism toward the role of mobile health in patient engagement.

Specifically, the survey found that:

  • 79% of respondents said mobile health technologies provide essential information to the public;
  • About 63% said that expanded access to health data will improve patient outcomes and allow patients to make better decisions; and
  • More than 33% said smartphones, tablets and home monitoring technologies will reduce costs and lessen the burden for providers.

However, respondents cited several barriers to mobile health:

  • More than 40% said the health care industry’s resistance to change will slow adoption;
  • 37% said providers lack the necessary technical infrastructure; and
  • 19% cited regulatory obstacles (EHR Intelligence, 2/9).

According to the report, adoption will be particularly slow in developed countries — such as the U.S. — because they are “entrenched” in practices that would require a culture shift to change (Mottl, FierceMobileHealthcare, 2/7).

Meanwhile, nearly 20% of U.S. respondents said that mobile health technologies have no potential to generate revenue for health care providers.

Still, about one-third of respondents said that mobile health can improve patient-provider communication. Further, about 17% said mobile health can help patients:

  • Receive peer support;
  • Self-monitor their health; and
  • Share their health-related knowledge (EHR Intelligence, 2/9).
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