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Mobile health devices: will patients actually use them?

Ryan J Shaw, Dori M Steinberg, Jonathan Bonnet, Farhad Modarai, Aaron George, Traven Cunningham, Markedia Mason, Mohammad Shahsahebi, Steven C Grambow, Gary G Bennett, Hayden B Bosworth
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jamia/ocv186 ocv186 First published online: 17 January 2016


Although mobile health (mHealth) devices offer a unique opportunity to capture patient health data remotely, it is unclear whether patients will consistently use multiple devices simultaneously and/or if chronic disease affects adherence. Three healthy and three chronically ill participants were recruited to provide data on 11 health indicators via four devices and a diet app. The healthy participants averaged overall weekly use of 76%, compared to 16% for those with chronic illnesses. Device adherence declined across all participants during the study. Patients with chronic illnesses, with arguably the most to benefit from advanced (or increased) monitoring, may be less likely to adopt and use these devices compared to healthy individuals. Results suggest device fatigue may be a significant problem. Use of mobile technologies may have the potential to transform care delivery across populations and within individuals over time. However, devices may need to be tailored to meet the specific patient needs.

  • mHealth
  • health apps
  • data collection
  • health promotion
  • self-monitoring
  • mobile health
  • informatics
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