Mobile applications, or apps, are becoming increasingly prevalent especially in healthcare. Not only can you get apps that help you with fitness, nutrition and mental agility but you can also get apps to connect with physicians and hospitals. Do these apps really work in encouraging people to move more and eat healthier or help hospitals connect better with patients?
The SMART trial, a randomized open label trial, used education versus a smartphone app to encourage people to move more. They discovered that those using the app walked significantly more steps per day than those using education. In addition, the SMART trial showed encouraging results using a personal digital assistant to monitor and record food intake. More on this and other similar studies can be found here.
Another interesting study utilizing text messaging for patients recovering from head and neck surgery can be found here. In this study the participants received informational texts daily about expected recovery, and were able to send texts back that were triaged for interventions. Interventions included rescheduling post-surgical appointments to provide treatment earlier, refilling prescriptions and providing reassurance. Ease of use was one of the main contributors to the success of this initiative along with patients being satisfied that the texting helped their health.
Are you using mobile apps to help patient education, improve patient outcomes and promote communication? Let us know what apps you are using and how successful they have been!
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