Why engagement is critical to mHealth success

An article published late last year in the Journal of the American Medical Association, "Can Mobile Health Technologies Transform Healthcare?" about the need for mobile health technology adoption prompted a letter to the editor from Kit Huckvale and Josip Car, Ph.D. of the Global eHealth Unit at Imperial College London. According to the letter's author, the article "insufficiently considered those who will actually need to use mHealth if it is to succeed: patients and the public." The letter writer notes that if people are not engaged and motivated to use such tools, any possible clinical benefits will never come to fruition. "Behavioral tricks and rewards will play a role, but ultimately mHealth must address patient needs," states the writer, who also makes note of the "gulf" that can exist between doctors' priorities and what the patient may need or want.

Three powerful forces--the unsustainability of current healthcare spending, the rapid growth of wireless connectivity, and the need for more precise and individualized medicine--are converging and creating an "exuberance for mHealth," argues the original piece in JAMA. Letter