To improve the lives of some of the most vulnerable patients, healthcare providers increasingly focus their efforts on preventive care and population health management. Many deploy technology--including electronic health records and data analytics systems--to bolster such efforts. Executives from Citrus Valley Health Partners in Orange County, California, the University of California San Diego School of Medicine and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, for example, previously spoke to FierceHealthIT, discussing the need for better information exchange and “data harmonization,” among other efforts.
The use of mobile technology and wearables for population health, however, is less established. For instance, a small study out of the University of California, San Francisco, published this month in the Journal of General Internal Medicine finds that popular mobile health apps used to serve those diagnosed with diabetes or depression provided little help.
What’s more, says Steven Steinhubl, a cardiologist at Scripps Health in San Diego, California, and director of digital medicine at the Scripps Translational Science Institute (STSI), despite the spread of consumer wearables among the general public, mobile’s role in ensuring the needs of patients are met remains in its infancy.
In recent discussions with FierceHealthIT, Steinhubl and Bruce Schatz, a professor and head of the department of medical information science in the college of medicine at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, talk about the current and future state of mobile technology for population health management, as well as their efforts in the field.