Medical Personnel Conflicted about Mobile Health Apps and Services

A recent consumer survey conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit found consumers more convinced of the value of mobile health technologies than health providers.

Roughly half of consumers predict that within the next three years, mobile health will improve the convenience (46 percent), cost (52 percent) and quality (48 percent) of their healthcare.

But 60 percent of consumers said they believe doctors are not as interested in mobile health as patients and technology companies are, PwC reports.

About 64 percent of doctors and payers said that mobile health business models are unproven. And some would say that apparent consumer interest does not translate well into actual sustained usage. The study found that more than 66 percent of consumer respondents who have used mobile wellness or fitness applications with manual data entry discontinued it after the first six months.

Some 13 percent of physicians actually discourage use of mobile health apps. Also, some 42 percent of doctors worry that mobile health options will make patients “too independent.”

Also, it appears that mobile heatth might actually reduce patient visits, which has negative revenue implications for health professionals.

Among consumers who already are using mHealth services, 59 percent said they have replaced some visits to doctors or nurses. Also, although more convenient access to their doctor or healthcare provider is seen as a mobile health advantage by 46 percent of respondents, some 43 percent believe it w2ill reduce out-of-pocket healthcare costs. That means less revenue for health professionals.
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