Mobile Health Technology is Catching On
Can health and fitness be enhanced with mobile technology? It might seem like a fantasy that some electronic device or program could influence users to live better, but in reality those things are reality. Health monitors like BodyBugg and Philips DirectLife have received rave reviews from users.
The recent Mobile Health 2010 conference aimed is to show how mobile technology can improve people’s health through behavioral changes and mobile tools. For instance, text messaging was discussed as a way for people to remain compliant to health monitoring and goals while on the go.
Mobile health technology is compelling – it has potential to help diagnose fast, care better and be preventative too. For users, the access and usability of health tools could be a boon for better self-care as well, especially since mobile health can be both for the end patient and the medical professional. According to CNN [http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/05/21/mobile.health.apps/index.html]:
One texting innovation that will be discussed at the Mobile Health 2010 conference is Text4Baby, a service that sends free messages each week to help expectant parents through pregnancy and the first year of child care. These messages, have been reviewed by U.S. government health agencies, contain information and advice about the mom and baby’s health in the current week, based on the due date that the user enters when signing up.
However, at the conference it was noted that there are barriers to entry – including age. “SMS is a very compelling platform to use for health education, monitoring and drug compliance. Unfortunately, Frank Bailey from AARP noted that as folks age and their health worsens, they are less likely to use text messaging (only 23% of adults over 60 years old with two or more chronic medical conditions used text messaging technology.),” says Vital Wave Consulting on their blog (http://vitalwave.blogspot.com/2010/05/mobile-health-2010-day-1.html).
Still, with new innovations being made all the time, mobile health is a new wave of progress in both healthcare and mobile application. According to CNN:
Perhaps further down the line, as technologies improve for understanding and managing chronic illnesses, cell phones may help people monitor their conditions, delivering text messages with information about what’s going on in the body, said Dr. Joseph Smith, chief medical and science officer of the West Wireless Health Institute.
What do you think? Will mobile health technology become an integral part of healthcare?
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