The concept of mobile healthcare continues to pick up steam, as a new study by the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions confirms.
The concept of personal health records being embedded in mobile devices — or “mPHR” which stands for mobile Personal Heath Record — is set to become the “killer app” in terms of engaging consumers to “live healthier lives and adhere to evidence-based treatment plans” by leveraging the most familiar consumer technology around: cell phones, smartphones and tablet devices.
Combined with actionable decision support, the mPHR can analyze aggregate data to activate mobile, patient-specific output such as medication reminders, healthy habit tips and medical bill reminders. Although mPHR systems are in early-stage development, pilot projects demonstrate their potential to improve outcomes, reduce health system utilization and control costs.
For example, the study notes that at the Cleveland Clinic, diabetic and hypertensive patients who used smartphones to transmit vitals to their PHR reduced their number of doctor’s visits substantially as compared to patients who didn’t track readings. Similarly, Austrian investigators found that congestive heart failure (CHF) patients, who typically require extensive hospitalization, had fewer and shorter hospital stays when they used an mPHR system to transmit vitals, medication information and health status to their physicians.
In addition to the study, Deloitte commissioned a survey of healthcare consumers and found that:
- Fifty percent of consumers want a personal monitoring device to alert and guide them to make improvements in their health or treat a condition.
- Approximately six out of 10 consumers (57 percent) want to access an online PHR connected to their doctor’s office.
- Twice as many Gen X and Y consumers want to access and maintain their PHRs using a mobile device than do baby boomers and senior citizens.
Leveraging mobile can streamline almost any industry, and healthcare is positioned better than most to take full advantage of the medium to improve lives, reduce costs and simplify the entire ecosystem.