In a few years, when we look back at what were the keys to implementing mHealth, one of the things that will stand out is sure to be the role played by its Meaningful Use among users.
And what do we mean by “Meaningful Use“?
For instance we can look at Medicare and Medicaid’s incentive program for using the Eletronic Health Record (EHR).
These programs provide financial incentives for the “Meaningful Use” of certified EHR technology to improve patient care. To receive an incentive payment EHR, providers must demonstrate that they are “meaningfully using” EHR to reach certain targets set in relation to their level of use. The agency Centers for Medicare and Medicaid has established the goals of “Meaningful Use” that professionals, hospitals and critical access hospitals (CAH ) must meet in order to receive an incentive or subsidy.
But I want to give another meaning to this concept, a sense linked to patients and users of the health system based on the following arguments:
- Users increasingly want control of over their health information.
- Consequently, they will be closer to those medical and assistive devices aligned with this purpose.
- So, the relationship between patients and health care professionals adds a new dimension , the first will control their health information, while the latter should be close to them so that this information is useful.
” Metaphorically, doctors will be conductors of patients and their information “
What makes an app and / or mobile device MEANINGFUL for users?
There are 4 aspects that must be met for this to occur :
- Provide information about a disease or relate to a specific therapeutic target indicator.
- Achieve this in a relevant and user-friendly way.
- Enable decision making on the information obtained.
- And finally, that brings me a comprehensive and unified view on the most important aspects of my needs and health
I recently read several articles that show how slowly mHealth advances through its implementation process , particularly with 3 different examples that pointin this direction.
- A study conducted in late 2013 by Kantar Media has highlighted that 51 % of doctors use Tablets and Mobile Health tools regularly.
- There are already many initiatives to provide tools for caregivers to improve care in monitoring their relatives.
- The Ministry of Health of the United Arab Emirates, will focus on the education and care of chronic diseases through mHealth .
It is clear that mHealth is increasingly present among us, that there are many initiatives in different parts of the care process or developed from different actors within the system…
But there is still a change required to unlock the process before a paradigm shift in our industry occurs.
With this hash tag I want to promote the idea that hospitals and medical centers hold the key to this change, it is they who treat patients, and who has the most information, and therefore those who have the confidence of users.
One of the problems identified so far with mHealth applications is precisely that many are do not add value… But perhaps if they are prescribed by your GP or medical specialist specifically in order to heal you, this would begin to change.
Obviously a doctor prescribing a particular application or device must carry an implicit recognition, validation by a hospital which has the methodology and ability to validate it… This is the key issue!
And I say …
How many possibilities come to mind if hospitals around the world were to become responsible for validating Apps and Mobile Health Devices?