Today many wellness programs rely on a very manual process of a patient either handwriting or physically typing their health data information into a portal or app, then sharing this information with their clinician who then evaluate their progress. Then the cycle repeats.
Sounds antiquated, clunky and inefficient, right? Well it is, and therein lies the promise of mHealth - the transformational movement of using mobile technology for health service and information.
Let’s look at a startling trend in the US – The Association of American Medical Colleges predicts shortages in all types of physicians: 63,000 by 2015 and 130,600 by 2025* and there’s an ever-increase of patients entering the healthcare system. We can continue to stack the cards to make this ‘invisible problem’ more critical (which it is) but let’s discuss two important facets here. 1) Clinicians need to continue to provide personalized care in light of these growing trends, and 2) Patients need to take more accountability for their own health.
The patient/clinician ratio will continue to grow disparately apart so how can a doctor provide more personalized attention to their ever-growing roster of patients?
The answer is through the use of technology.
The way e-mail revolutionized how business communicates over ten years ago, mHealth can help revolutionize the healthcare industry by efficiently and effectively using mobile technology and data to enable healthcare providers to make efficient, informed and personalized decisions about patient health programs.
Studies show that at least 50% of patients do not adhere to their physician’s orders**. Combine the issue of non-adherence with the aforementioned ‘invisible problem’ and well... this creates many cyclical and perpetual issues in healthcare that is -- well…unsustainable. Patients need to become more accountable for their own health by making better lifestyle choices. This isn’t a healthcare issue, this is a behavioral issue. It’s generally accepted that patients need to take more responsibility for their own wellbeing through better lifestyle choices and by making better, healthier decisions, but now (taking into account the trends I just highlighted) this paradigm shift toward self-care is necessary, even critical.
In fact, this week Verizon announced it gains FDA clearance for its remote health monitoring solution. This is a solution intended to help change the paradigm in healthcare delivery.
It’s Verizon’s vision to create a healthier world in which individuals and healthcare organizations are empowered with innovative digital technologies that improve health outcomes, lower the cost of healthcare and transform access to care. Verizon is focused on improving healthcare delivery through increased patient engagement, enhanced patient-provider communication and better coordinated care delivery.