That’s a subtle example, but the more obvious evidence of this revolution is the abundance of mobile health, or mHealth, apps available on almost every smartphone. These apps help you track, manage and measure all types of health-related data – from those steps we talked about to your blood pressure, blood oxygen levels, and even glucose readings for diabetics.
In fact, over 70% of smartphone owners are
actively capturing some health and wellness data into an mHealth app.
It’s obviously an exciting time to care about your health, and while it’s getting easier for us to engage with this kind of data it’s also getting easier to learn about your health and participate in your healthcare. But, even with all this access to data and information, has mHealth started to make a difference where it really matters?
The very obvious missing link in this story is our healthcare providers – our doctors. We are tracking more important health data than ever, but unfortunately that data isn’t getting back to the people charged with our healthcare. Our doctors call this information Patient Generated Health Data (PGHD), and they recognize how important it is to your treatment but they haven’t caught up with the mHealth revolution.
The implications and opportunities for sharing PGHD are limitless. Patients sharing their temperature and heart rate with their doctors could detect early signs of infections after a surgery. Patients sharing blood pressure and blood oxygen information could be flagged at risk of heart attack or stroke. Diabetic patients could be alerted that they are at risk of a diabetic episode.
Other industries have already used mobile apps to bridge the gap between their services and their customers, but it is time that our healthcare system caught up. We challenge you to talk to your doctor about mHealth and patient generated health data – ask your doctor how you can share your daily health data to make sure you are making the right decisions about your healthcare.