NIH issues research, funding call for mHealth tool projects

The National Institutes of Health is seeking research grant proposals to spur development of mHealth tools that will provide effective patient-provider communications and patient self-management capabilities.

The funding initiative also aims to foster new mobile tools that will help patients adhere to treatment when dealing with a chronic disease and support patients living in remote areas and locations where medical support is not quickly within reach.

"With the rapid expansion of cellular networks and substantial advancements in smartphone technologies, it is now possible--and affordable--to transmit patient data digitally from remote areas to specialists in urban areas, receive real-time feedback, and capture that consultation in a database," according to an announcement.

"These mHealth tools, therefore, may facilitate more timely and effective patient-provider communication through education communication around goal setting, treatment reminders, feedback on patient progress and may improve health outcomes," it states.

The news comes at a time when mobile healthcare apps and devices are streaming into the market, promising to help patients do everything from tracking and monitoring health issues such as diabetes to staying on top of cardiac recovery requirements while offering providers and payers more efficient ways to communicate with patients and an opportunity to streamline processes and save money.

The NIH Funding Opportunity Announcement lists a dozen potential research topics, including tools for citizens in underserved populations, integrated portable imaging technologies for monitoring health support systems, networked consumer-driven tools for engaging users in improving health as well as software and hardware tools for telehealth technologies.

For more information:
- read the NIH announcement

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