News Feature | July 2, 2015

mHealth Tools Disruptive, Increase Workload

Katie Wike

By Katie Wike, contributing writer

HTO Frustrated Doctor

According to a recent study by researchers in Quebec, increased workload and disruption of workflow are still barriers to mHealth success.

A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association notes that, while mHealth tools have great benefits, they also present significant hurdles that need to be addressed. Increased workload and disruption of workflow were the two largest barriers cited by the authors. Cost also worried providers, who fear the financial burden of mHealth from set-up to management is too great.

Fierce Mobile Healthcare reports mHealth’s ability to allow contact any time or place is not always a benefit. “While the findings of our review support this general idea, it was not necessarily seen as a benefit,” explained researchers. “Professionals in fact expressed the belief that mHealth brought quicker contact and communication and improved their access to colleagues, which could constitute benefits. Conversely, the increased workload and the disturbed workflow by colleagues were seen as barriers to their adoption of mHealth.

“The entire issue of mHealth is attracting a great deal of attention worldwide because it presents a unique way to provide information and resources to healthcare professionals and patients alike, and may be a promising tool to support healthcare,” conclude researchers. “The findings from this systematic review provide a common ground, making it possible to better understand the challenges and opportunities related to m-health utilization by healthcare providers.”

Despite the recent push for mobile technology though, more doctors use desktop computers than any other technology. Fifty-six percent use a desktop computer while 23 percent use tablets. They did also acknowledge the convenience of mobile devices with 58 percent of doctors saying mobile devices provided easier access to patient data from anywhere.