The healthcare industry is currently experiencing a “tsunami” of technology that is revolutionizing the entire health ecosystem. That was one of the main messages of the Mobile Healthcare Summit Conference, held in Toronto on 30 and 31 January 2013. This is the first post in a series dedicated to mobile healthcare.
Self-monitoring and involving the patient in the workflow
Faced with an ever-growing workload, the medical community sees mobile technology an opportunity to reduce costs, while increasing patient involvement. The rise in popularity of patient self-monitoring solutions, whereby the patient is carrying out personal health monitoring steps independently and remotely, was a key topic at the conference.
Dr. John Semple, Department of Surgery Womens’ College Hospital
in Toronto, presented a very interesting study
on the concept of self-monitoring. Sixty patients and three doctors took part in the experiment. Following a surgery, patients had to respond to a regular questionnaire from home using their smart phone. In addition to responding to health and recovery related questions, the patient was to take pictures of areas operated for a period of 30 days after surgery. As they were no longer limited by the capacity of the clinic, doctors could carry out more intensive monitoring of each patient. The results were conclusive: patients felt better being closely monitored and doctors were able to identify post-operative complications sooner than with the conventional approach. Moreover, no participant had dropped out during the study and the application had a very high satisfaction rate (83% of patients very satisfied or satisfied).
This type of initiative where the patient is actively involved in the process is very promising. In fact, Deloitte reports
that savings related to self-monitoring by patients could amount to over 197 billion over 25 years in the U.S. alone. In this powerful visualization
by Xcubelabs, we see that it is possible to reach up to twice as many patients in rural areas through “self-monitoring”. Productivity gains and accessibility potential is enormous, provided of course that the applications and devices involved are accessible, well-designed and usable…
In our next blog, we will cover another topic discussed at the conference focused on prioritizing the patient, or “Patient-centered care” and see how mobile technology can support this approach.