” Engage consumers “, ” custom solutions “, ” easy to use connectivity ” and ” adjusted to the lifestyle needs.”
These are concepts are sounding loudly across the globe, and especially in the U.S., when referring to #mHealth, and they all point in the same direction … Getting patients more involved in health care, and in particular, Mobile Health. It seems to be our great hope, the lever that will change everything, that differential factor that triggers the necessary changes so that the full potential of this concept, #mHelath, is deployed and finally becomes true.
However, from my point of view, we are forgetting something especially critical, and I have a feeling that on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, they are not realizing it … perhaps due to their healthcare model, with no universal access to healthcare, it will take them longer, but sooner or later they will arrive at the conclusion we are about to make in Europe.
Throughout the first decade of the century the vast majority of studies have focused their efforts on demonstrating that these new technologies worked and were getting the same results as existing technology. This is one of the conclusions drawn by a White Paper supported by the GSMA.
This same study points out that in many cases, the design of the studies was not correctly focused on the objectives and questions that must be answered to enable a change in healthcare policies.
The conclusion to which I refer is none other than to find how best to fit this new technology into existing healthcare processes. #mHealth has to promote an evolution of these processes, finding its place depending on each case, pathology profile of patients, doctors, nurses, caregivers, etc…involved.
When this happens, it will be essential to evaluate these new processes , analyzing their impact on the most critical variables:
- Clinical results
- Improving access to health care (Reduce utilization)
- Optimize the use of health resources (Attendance)
- Impact Cost / Efficiency
- Improving patient involvement and compliance with care received
In this regard, I want to share with you how lucky I feel because we have recently begun a number of projects in my hospital, which are methodologically oriented to achieve this integration, and with the strong objective, in addition to its integration in healthcare processes, of evaluating and demonstrating the impact of the #mHealth in our territory, and specifically on the critical variables mentioned above.
I’d like to end with a quote referring to something I read in one article that I recently tweeted, which I think speaks volumes about the whole issue:
“Consumers are demanding what they want and need for health services:
- Ease of use.
- Access content to educate them on how best to manage their health.
- Inspiration and motivation.
- Connection, ubiquity and flexibility.
- Be able to perform both their own and trends simply good monitoring.
- And finally, have support for managing your health anytime, anywhere.”
Personal Connected Health Alliance, acting chairman Clint McClellan
Addressing these needs is where should guide decisions on health policy in the coming years, and it is crucial demonstrate policy-makers which is the way to follow.