In earlier posts we have explored how mHealth can increase both patient engagement and site engagement. Today’s blog comes from Jason Rightmyer, Director of Research Informatics with the Institute of Aging Research (a Harvard Medical School Affiliate) who explores how mobile health technology is attributing to physician engagement. Thanks for contributing!
mHealth, and the data it provides, are changing the way physicians treat their patients, and how the large data streams received by way of mobile health technology can be utilized in the near-term to advance important research initiatives.
Evolving mobile health technology will soon allow healthcare practitioners to harness the power of their smart devices to collect more accurate data and use it in a meaningful way. For instance, mHealth is already encompassing telemedicine and high definition sources, which will enable rural physicians to seek support from big city doctors or allow for more accurate expert system diagnosis in the field.
As mHealth evolves patients will continue to become more comfortable with the idea of apps and wearables. In terms of clinical trials, patients may be more willing to take part in research since participation might promise to be less onerous given the passive nature of measurements. Additionally, access to real-time, accurate data and useful, personalized feedback has the potential to improve protocol adherence. It’s important to note that these same technological trends will have similar effects on basic science and early stage drug development too.
It’s true, large quantities of diverse data points lead to more insight, which strengthens evidence-based research and clinical decision-making, but increased data can lead to noise and information overload. With the additional influx of data made possible by mHealth technology, new systems will be needed to assist clinicians in processing and assessing data coming in from all sides (patients, health care systems, public health sources, etc.).
While it seems there is still work to be done on efficiently reading and capturing the right data, mHealth usage on the part of both the patient and the physician can be a game changer for clinical studies. The same type of app that allows patients to track appointments, medication intake and vital data that a study depends on, offers physicians access to consistent, real-time or just-in-time patient tracking versus sporadic observations. mHealth can mean shortened study times, which can in turn affect how quickly drugs make it to market.
For more insights from Jason and other mobile health technology experts, please download our latest Focus 5: mHealth.