Provider prescribed mHealth tools would be embraced by consumers, report says

A majority of iTriage users say they would adopt a health monitoring device if it was recommended by a physician, according to a recent survey by the Aetna company.

For the survey, iTriage polled about 3,300 of its users about mHealth. Seventy-six percent said they would likely adopt a monitoring device "prescribed' by a physician, while 68 percent said they likely would use one on a provider's recommendation, according to an infographic on the report. 

In addition, 76 percent said they are somewhat to very interested in sharing data with providers; 92 percent currently using a wearable or mHealth app would share data with providers.

The report, which was shared with FierceMobileHealthcare, cites three top barriers to wearable adoption: cost, technology complexity and data privacy concerns. The survey reveals that 19 percent of those polled are tracking health using a wearable or app; 50 percent don't use any but are interested; and 33 percent don't use any and are not interested in future use.

Kevin Riddleberger, iTriage senior director of clinical solutions, told FierceMobileHealthcare via email that there will be many challenges to come with the rise of wearables for all parties; he added that the data deluge does present a hurdle.

"One big complexity, once you have a patient connected with their devices, is the management of data," Riddleberger said. "With the potential for so much new patient data, EHRs become even more comprehensive, and questions will arise around how to import the data and who's responsible for alerts."

A recent Parks Associates report reveals increasing adoption may provide a huge market opportunity for mobile carriers that align connected health businesses with connected living strategies,

Still, not everyone is convinced that wearables present a win-win scenario for patients and providers. In an interview with NPR, Michael Blum, M.D. a cardiologist at the University of California, warns that wearables, health tracking devices and apps haven't proven to be completely infallible.

"We can't make the leap that just because this data is coming in digitally that it's accurate," Blum said.

What data is relevant, what data is noise and whose day-to-day job is it to oversee the mass influx of data, are just a few issues Riddleberger says will need to be sorted out.

But those challenges, he adds, are solvable.

"Many challenges will come alongside the rise of wearables, for all parties," Riddleberger says. "Our research showed one deterrent for consumer adoption of wearables is their complexity, and we expect to see this challenge leak over to providers as more providers are 'prescribing' the devices to their patients."

To learn more:
- check out the infographic (.pdf)

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