Why mHealth apps remain a novelty

Despite the increased prevalence of mobile healthcare apps being used by patients, providers and payers, such tools are nowhere near mainstream adoption and continue to be viewed by many as a novelty in the healthcare sector, according to Karen Taylor, research director for Deloitte's UK Center for Health Solutions.

In a recent blog post, Taylor said that even with healthy consumer enthusiasm and more proof of the benefits apps can provide, several hurdles remain.

"Part of the problem is that patients face a confusing array of mHealth apps with little guidance on their quality or advice and support from their doctors," Taylor said. "While doctors can see the potential benefits of mHealth apps, they remain wary of formally recommending them to patients."

Clear evidence of such benefits, she said, is a must.

As FierceMobileHealthcare has reported, the most successful mHealth application ventures will feature a services strategy, boast a robust tool portfolio and embrace medical APIs, according to a new study. As other research reveals, some of today's smartphone device add-ons, apps and online videos offering blood pressure reading information and measurement capability may not be accurate or trustworthy.

Still, Taylor also said that the day will come when mHealth apps move from the role of an ad hoc tool to being a fully integrated part of healthcare management.

"In this respect, mHealth apps are not intended to replace healthcare professionals, who remain central to providing healthcare, but rather intended as a supportive tool for managing health conditions," she said. She added that mHealth has the potential to change patients from being largely passive to taking a more proactive role in their own care.

For more information:
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