For example, a recent report from Park Associates found that “more than 55% of patients with a chronic condition do not speak to their [doctors] more than once every three months.” This dynamic is ironic, considering that healthy people, and patients successfully managing chronic conditions, are less likely to become sick and therefore require emergency services.
Of course, doctors don’t want us to get sick, but the question is – how does the healthcare system engage patients outside the office or hospital? Mobile health (mHealth) apps and wearable devices have shown great success in engaging people daily with their health and wellness, yet our healthcare providers are still not easily accessible using the same tools.
Despite the implementations of patient portals, a study by Accenture shows that hospital providers are only reaching 2% of patients through mobile devices. They found that most hospital apps have poor user experience and poor functionality. Specifically, less than 11% of provider app meet the requirements of accessing medical records, appointment scheduling, and prescription requests.
Our expectations for mobile features and communication are only going to grow, especially as consumer health apps make tracking health and wellness data easier. If doctors and hospitals want to stay relevant with their patients, and more importantly help keep patients healthy rather than waiting for them to get sick, they are going to have to adapt to these expectations.
Mobile health apps and wearable devices make it easy to track and communicate with each other, when will healthcare providers join the movement and start engaging with patients to keep them healthy?