The world is becoming more and more reliant on mobile devices. Nowadays, the vast majority of people have cell phones. The reliance on mobile devices is made even clearer by the fact that 15% of adults in America are “smartphone-only” internet users, meaning their phone is their primary connection to the internet.
Because of these trends, mobile health technology’s benefits are clearer than ever. Reaching patients through mobile platforms is incredibly helpful and, in some cases, absolutely necessary. Keep reading to discover some of the benefits and see how they relate to the world of healthcare.
Quicker Access to Care and Providers
Most people with a cell phone have it within their reach at all times. In fact, over half of Americans say they do not go longer than 24 hours without checking their cell phone. This makes cell phones the ideal choice for conducting most forms of communication.
For healthcare, this is perfect. It gives patients a method of communication they already have, know how to use, and can access at a moment’s notice. They can book appointments, reach out to providers for questions, or even use telehealth services with a cell phone.
These telehealth services are another key way mobile health technology bridges the gap between patient and provider. Telehealth creates a way to conduct a provider visit without requiring the patient to come into an office. This is helpful for everyone, as it saves patients a lot of time. Still, it is particularly helpful for people with disabilities and patients who live in rural areas, as it makes it easier for them to make an appointment.
Better Adherence to Medication Instructions
Patient engagement can be difficult. A medical professional can give plenty of advice and instruction during an appointment. However, there is no guarantee that a patient will follow or even remember what was said. The patient may even forget to schedule follow-up appointments and, thus, miss out on further treatment.
Mobile health technology helps with this. A mobile device is the perfect platform for delivering information or notifications. Providers can send a written list of instructions to a patient’s phone, so they can access these instructions if they forget them later. Providers can also deliver updates regarding specific aspects of patient care.
In addition, routine health advice can also be given. This includes reminders to eat right, exercise, and engage in other things that benefit community health.
Advances in this field make doing this even easier. Now, many healthcare apps provide automated information and updates. Some even give patients access to their treatment history or other relevant medical information. Plus, apps are streamlined and easy to use, which makes it more likely that a patient will use them.
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Remote Patient Monitoring
The physical gap between patient and provider is often a problem when it comes to providing high-quality healthcare. Patients don’t enjoy constantly coming into an office for appointments, especially if they have mobility difficulties or live far away.
However, with remote patient monitoring, this gap is bridged. Wearable technologies, like smartwatches or fitness monitors, are easy for patients to use and provide providers with important data. The best part is that this information is given without having the patient enter the office.
This can be critical for patients with chronic conditions that must be constantly monitored. Using technologies like these means that these patients can be monitored without majorly disrupting their lives.
This type of technology can even help accelerate research that can lead to important advances in healthcare.
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Increased Patient Safety
One of the most important elements of any healthcare approach is safety. At the end of the day, patient safety is one of the primary factors determining if a healthcare approach is actually worthwhile. This is another place where mobile health technology is important, as many of the factors already discussed have a positive and direct impact on patient safety.
Telehealth and related services mean that patients schedule more visits and that these visits are possible for everyone. This helps uncover health problems that are hard to detect otherwise, such as high blood pressure, high blood sugar, or high cholesterol.
Providing patient instruction and information directly to patients also reduces the chance of mistakes. A patient taking too little or too much of their medication can have a potentially detrimental impact. However, with easy access to the provider’s instructions, patients can do exactly what they need.
Finally, remote monitoring is critical in many situations. For patients with serious conditions, remote monitoring may determine if they are in danger. It has the potential to catch an emergency situation and send out the proper alerts. This is especially helpful if the patient is alone, as emergency services would not otherwise be sent for in these cases.
Better Provider Coordination and Communication
Mobile health technology is clearly helpful for the patient. However, it is also helpful on the provider side of things.
Administrative tasks take up too much time for most healthcare facilities. Scheduling appointments, recording data, and maintaining contact with patients require much work. In many cases, doing this may be a full-time job for one or more people.
However, mobile health technologies can streamline and reduce the amount of work necessary. Having patients schedule appointments via an app prevents someone from having to take the patient’s phone call and input the information automatically. Similarly, automated updates made through an app prevent healthcare workers from having to spend time checking back in with patients. Meanwhile, remote patient monitoring conducted through mobile technologies often inputs data automatically and may even generate helpful data sheets.
These technologies are really good for everyone. They provide patients with better care while improving the efficiency of healthcare institutions. In the end, everyone wins!
Take Advantage of Mobile Health Technology
How mobile health technology helps patients and providers is now clear. All that is left to explore is how to take advantage of this technology and, in doing so, take advantage of its benefits.
The first thing to do is find a mobile health platform. There are plenty of options out there, but not all of them provide the necessary benefits. Platforms like Xcellent Life are great examples of platforms that provide a robust and successful approach to mobile health.
Once you’ve determined what platform works for you, you are ready to start!
Want to discuss how mobile health technology can help your patients and your team? Schedule a consultation with Xcellent Life today!