News Feature | February 17, 2016

Mobile Health Tiring For Patients

Katie Wike

By Katie Wike, contributing writer

Patient Care Transitions

Even patients who actively use their mobile devices to manage their health eventually lose interest, according to a study published by JAMA.

A study conducted by Duke University researchers found patients using mobile health quickly tire of constantly entering data and receiving reminders — whether they are already healthy or suffering from a chronic condition.

According to Fierce Mobile Healthcare, researchers studied patients who were considered healthy and those with chronic conditions as they used four devices and a mobile diet application to report on 11 health indicators. Those who were healthy averaged an overall weekly use of 76 percent, while those suffering from chronic illness averaged 16 percent.

iHealth Beat reports researchers attribute this sharp drop in use to device fatigue and noted devices should be designed to meet the specific needs of patients. “Despite the excitement about the potential for these devices to improve health, their successful adoption by consumers and patients for routine self-monitoring remains uncertain,” says the report.

“Although mobile health devices offer a unique opportunity to capture patient health data remotely, it is unclear whether patients will consistently use multiple devices simultaneously and/or if chronic disease affects adherence,” wrote researchers in Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association (JAMIA). “Use of mobile technologies may have the potential to transform care delivery across populations and within individuals over time. However, devices may need to be tailored to meet the specific patient needs.”