A new national study conducted by CTIA-The Wireless Association in conjunction with Harris Interactive
reportedly revealed that almost eight in ten Americans, or 78 percent, express interest in mobile health, or mHealth solutions. In addition, more than one in ten, or 15 percent of Americans surveyed said they were interested in learning more about it.
The study uses research from an online survey of U.S. adults and an online survey of physicians to gauge their interest in mHealth service options. According to the study, 19 percent of the people surveyed said they would upgrade their existing wireless plan to participate and 11 percent said they might even consider switching wireless providers to receive mobile healthcare services. After receiving an overview of mobile healthcare services, 40 percent of the respondents believed it would supplement the medical care they receive from their doctor whereas 23 percent believed that mobile health services might replace doctor visits altogether.
According to Steve Largent, President and CEO of CTIA-The Wireless Association, the results show that wireless plays an important role in solving the healthcare crisis in America. Wireless will be able to provide Americans with more choice and control over their own healthcare. MHealth will let Americans have access to the same healthcare and to ‘visit’ the best doctors’ offices in the country. This will result in significant improvements in the medical community’s ability to identify and resolve epidemics, reduce medical errors and expand preventative healthcare.
The study indicates that Americans see great potential in the future of mHealth. Some 51 percent of adults surveyed believe that those in rural areas will gain the most from mobile heath services. Doctors and specialists surveyed said more than one quarter of all their patients would benefit from such services with 80 percent of doctors and 89 percent of specialists voting to continue investment in mHealth.
According to Joseph Porus, vice president of technology research group at Harris Interactive, mHealth services could be the penicillin of the 21st century. It has the potential to be a game changer by reducing cost and improving the quality and convenience of healthcare around the globe.
Survey respondents also agreed that access to mobile healthcare services would result in benefits like enabling more home-based care, making the patients feel like they are always being watched, making medical care easier to obtain and also giving patients more freedom and choice. The survey also tested specific mobile health concepts. The most popular ideas for device applications among them are mobile exams/consultations, mobile wellness care, mobile monitoring and mobile elderly monitoring. Calvin Azuri is a contributing editor for HealthTechZone. To read more of Calvin’s articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Amy Tierney