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Sustainable Wireless Technologies Can Enhance Patient Engagement


Posted in Mobile Health by Arundhati Parmar on September 10, 2013

One of the goals of the rapidly growing mHealth trend is to get more people engaged in their health.

To do that, mHealth devices – whether they be self-tracking devices like Fitbit or Jawbone, or patient-monitoring, telemed devices made by Phillips or Honeywell HomMed – need to be sustainable.

In fact, Honeywell HomMed is running an internal research project about whether employees who are provided with self-tracking devices remain engaged and still use them three months later. They are currently in month two of the test.

That was one of the tidbits of information that Cameron Brackett, director of R&D at Honeywell HomMed, shared in his presentation on wireless technology at UBM Canon’s MD&M Chicago trade show and conference on Tuesday.

Brackett stressed that only when these products are sustainable can the engagement curve shift. In other words, more people become engaged in their health. Using data from an IBM study, Brackett shared some slides that show how the U.S. population engages with its health. Not surprisingly, the more healthy people are, the less engaged they are with their health. [Editor's note: The truncated picture should say “higher motivation”]

People who are healthy are using self-tracking apps and devices like RunKeeper, Fitbit, and Nike Fuel band. People who know they have some health problems are information seekers and currently may be using mHealth tools like rimidi for diabetes.  Those that are chronically ill and fragile, however, are using remote patient-monitoring devices made by the likes of Cardiocom, just bought by Medtronic, Philips and Honeywell HomMed.

This latter group is the most engaged in its health, but the great hope is that wireless technologies may be able to expand the curve to get more of the U.S. population engaged in its health.

It’s the great hope because the more patients are tuned into their health and wellness, they might catch problems before they become full-blown conditions that, in turn, tax the healthcare system.

[Photo Credit: iStockPhoto.com user pictafolio]

 -- By Arundhati Parmar, Senior Editor, MD+DI
arundhati.parmar@ubm.com
 

 


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