How physicians can get patients involved with mHealth

Patient engagement doesn't have to be an expensive or a cumbersome proposition, and there are many approaches providers can take to get patients onboard with the tools, says Mark Burrell, vice president of global user experience practice at Medullan.

One of the most valuable strategies is for the physician to be a mHealth tech user and increase their own awareness about mHealth tools, Burrell tells mHealthIntelligence.

"This strategy would help doctors connect the dots between a mobile application and patients' actual scenarios. It will show physicians what the application can help them do as well as what it can't help them do," Burrell said.

With regard to mHealth devices and apps and boosting patient engagement, Burrell cites a few popular fitness apps as good approaches, and notes the behavioral result of consumers using such tools is as valuable as what a device provides in terms of data and knowledge.

There are many reasons physicians should embrace mobile devices, notes John Smithwick, CEO of Nashville, Tennessee-based patient engagement and care-coordination platform company RoundingWell. "By deploying patient engagement technology, clinicians and patients can use mobile devices for secure, ongoing, two-way conversations that are more aligned with modern communication," Smithwick says.

However, mHealth doesn't make every aspect of care easier. For physicians, mobile tools can create increased workload and disturb workflow, according to a paper published in Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.

Providers often also fear that costs--from device purchases to long-term technology platform deployment and management--could be major headaches, the report says.

For more information:
- read the mHealthIntelligence report

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