News Feature | September 1, 2016

mHealth Helps Patients Take Responsibility For Health

Katie Wike

By Katie Wike, contributing writer

Limits Of Mobile Health mHealth Summit

A Xerox study finds mHealth may be able to bridge the gap between patients and their care providers, allowing them to take responsibility for their healthcare.

mHealth Intelligence reports a recent study by Xerox found providers and patients have different views on who is taking charge patients’ care: According to Xerox:

  • nearly 50 percent of consumers say they take complete responsibility for their health
  • less than 6 percent of healthcare professionals believe this to be true
  • less than 5 percent of consumers say they don’t know how to take charge of their own healthcare
  • nearly 40 percent of payers and providers say consumers don’t know how to take charge

“When you see your primary care physician, you get very little face time with him or her — there’s very little opportunity to have a relationship, communicate, etc., outside of receiving your diagnosis,” said Rohan Kulkarni, vice president of strategy and portfolio for the Xerox Healthcare Business Group in an announcement. “There’s just no channel there for that type of communication.

“The easy answer, in terms of a solution, is technology, because the technology already exists — and yes, much of that technology is mobile. At the very least, in the simplest form, phone calls can be made shortly after appointments to collect feedback from the patient. For chronic conditions, mobile apps can continually collect patient data and provide it to the physician, allowing them to intervene when necessary.”

Healthcare IT News reports 90 percent of payers and providers say patients need encouragement and help from their healthcare provider to make living a healthier lifestyle a priority, however only 55 percent of patients said the same.

“The industry is clearly still adjusting to the shift toward consumer-centricity, and payers and providers may be best served to focus on patient retention by enhancing their communication channels,” Kulkarni said. “These results suggest that improved communication could allow healthcare professionals to better showcase to their patients how they’re a partner in their health.”