Study: Healthcare professionals see potential for mHealth apps

A research study released March 17 shows that most healthcare professionals, while they may not currently use mHealth apps in their practices, see the potential for mHealth apps to improve the patient care.

The study, conducted by digital data collection provider Research Now of Plano, Texas, polled 500 healthcare professionals and 1,000 users of health apps in the United States.

Healthcare professionals were asked if they use smartphone technology in their practices; if they thought it helped; what types of patients it helped, and under what conditions mHealth apps would have the greatest potential.

The key findings, according to a release from Research Now:

  • 46% of healthcare professionals say they will introduce mobile apps into their practice in the next five years
  • 86% of healthcare professionals think mHealth apps will increase their knowledge of their patients' conditions
  • 96% of users of health apps think they improve their quality of life
  • 72% of healthcare professionals believe health apps will encourage patients to take more responsibility for their health.

The study also found that, among healthcare professionals,

  • 16% currently use mHealth apps in their work with patients
  • 19% do not expect smartphone technology to become part of their work in healthcare
  • 59% use smartphone technology to access medical research
  • 28% expect to use smartphone technology to access medical research in the next five years
  • 50% think mHealth apps will increase the efficiency of patient treatment
  • 46% think that they will improve their relationship with their patients
  • 37% believe mHealth apps will improve their patients' lives
  • 76% believe they will health patients with chronic diseases such as diabetes or heart disease
  • 61% believe they will help those who are at rising-risk of developing health issues
  • 55% believe they have the potential to help people who are healthy
  • 48% think they will help patients recently discharged from the hospital.

Among users of mHealth apps, the study found that:

  • 60% use mHealth apps to monitor activity and workouts
  • 53% to motivate them to exercise
  • 49% to record calorie intake
  • 42% to monitor weight loss
  • 32% share information collected by the apps with their doctors

Among health care professionals the study found that few (16%) are currently using mHealth apps, but that many (46%) expect to do so within the next five years.

For more about the survey, go here and here.

Copyright © 2017 MD2K. MD2K is supported by the National Institutes of Health Big Data to Knowledge Initiative (Grant #1U54EB020404)

Team: Cornell Tech, GA Tech, Harvard, U. Memphis, Northwestern, Ohio State, Open mHealth, UCLA, UCSD, UCSF, UMass, U. Michigan, Utah, WVU