Mobile Health

Topics: Health care, Mobile phone, Health care provider Pages: 8 (2343 words) Published: November 16, 2013


The Effects of Mobile Health Technology on Access to Care, Health Care Cost, and Treatment Adherence

University of La Verne

Abstract
The tremendous increase in the number of smartphone users has been revolutionary in many avenues and has begun to open a new world of opportunities for use in health care. Mobile health technology used for the practice of medicine, often referred to as mHealth, is being used in an assortment of ways such as web browsing, telemedicine, connecting patient monitoring devices, as well as diagnostic and treatment support. Due to these technologies, mobile health technology has become an excellent tool in bridging the patient- physician gap and allowing easy access to educational material and devices to assist in awareness, maintenance, and prevention of health disparities. Through the analysis conducted, research indicates that mobile health technology has posed modest benefits in overall treatment adherence and the delivery and access of health care, all while reducing health care costs, further transforming the way services are provided. Keywords: mobile health technology, short message service, telecommunication, mobile applications

Introduction

Mobile phones have been widely used for many decades; however, the smartphone phenomenon is a more recent advancement that has transformed our everyday lives. It is said that cell phones outnumber people in the United States and that close to 50% of these cell phones are smartphones (Seymour, 2013). Mobile phones are no longer just a simple communication device; their influence has been far reaching in many aspects of society, unfettering our geographical limitations. Along with the standard functions of voice and text communication, smartphones have on- board personal management tools, open operating systems encouraging application development, and easy access to the Internet. They also contain a wide range of special features and displays, including increased storage space. Due to smartphones becoming such a pervasive presence in society, mobile health has become a rapidly expanding area of research and practice. Medical professionals have been some of the earliest adopters of personal mobile technology starting around the 1990’s with the Apple Newton, and then the rise and decline of Palm Pilots and other personal digital assistants that assisted with daily tasks and routines (Luxton, McCann, Bush, Mishkind, & Reger, 2011). With the current surge in smartphones, this trend has continued to progress in almost every facet of conventional medicine. Some of the technological features that have been used for health interventions include text messages (SMS), software applications, and multiple media (SMS, photos, video) interventions. These technological features have allowed for the different types of health interventions to be much more personalized, efficient, and interactive. It is believed that mobile health technology is increasing in popularity and has many uses across different disciplines in health care, which provide countless benefits and advantages when used in conjunction with traditional approaches. Theoretical Framework

The purpose of the paper is to show the positive impact mobile health technology has on various medical practices. A cost-effectiveness analysis will be presented to provide information on the different forms of mobile health technology that are being used around the world and the positive effect it has made in patients’ access to care, reducing health care costs, and improving overall treatment adherence .

Analysis of the Issue

A report conducted on phone use found that more than half of Americans age 25-30 have no traditional landline telephone in their household and use cell phones as their primary form of communication (Boulos, Wheeler, Tavares & Jones, 2011). With such a high number of cell phone users, it is no surprise that...
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