Trends in mHealth adoption ... Continued

  Jun 10, 2013 3:37:18 AM

In my previous post, we had looked at the mHealth adoption trend which talked about “improving efficiency” across the board – be it Pharma/Lifesciences entities or Providers. The next trend that is rapidly gaining attention is to Improve Clinical and Patient Outcomes.

Clinical/Patient outcomes are the result of providing care to a patient based on the disease or medical condition that needs to be cured. For example for a patient diagnosed with diabetes recently, the relevant outcome is to maintain his blood sugar at the right level so that the risk of developing other complications associated with diabetes are minimized. Examples of complications related to diabetes maybe renal failure, diabetic retinopathy, stroke and cardiovascular diseases. How do we ensure this outcome is reached and improve the percentage of patients who truly are able to reduce that risk ?

In the context of diabetes, this can be achieved by enabling the areas outlined below :

  • What is the patient’s current blood sugar level ? Induce the patient to measure the levels continuously.
  • Adhere to medications prescribed to ensure control. Provide tools to ensure medications at the right dosage are consumed at the right time by sending reminders.
  • Provide a way to alert patient in case the trend (blood sugar level) is tending towards the wrong threshold. Alert the primary care physician in case of an adverse event like a stroke or heart attack.

A mobile platform provides the perfect channel to enable these areas. mHealth apps focussed on diabetes care are designed towards providing alerts, medication reminders and track vital parameters of the patient like BP, Heart rate, Temperature on a continuous basis. Biometric sensors connected to the body (in a non-invasive manner) can measure glucose, heart rate and BP and transmit them to the mobile to be analysed and displayed. There are several apps that do so for cardiac care in a similar manner. Similarly there are several “wellness” apps which track programs for fitness – these can be used for patients who can be at potential risk of contracting lifestyle diseases like diabetes. All of these are geared towards improving clinical outcomes by truly engaging the patient.

In the next part of this series, we’ll look at patient engagement which is one of the key drivers for mHealth adoption.

Authored by Arun Venkataraman

Related Article: mHealth adoption – what’s in it for the Patient ?

 

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