Mobile devices can be beneficial to patients. In a survey, it was found that kidney failure patients who are undergoing dialysis are willing to use mobile health, reveals a study published in an issue of CJASN.
Mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, can be used by individuals to access their medical information, track and receive reminders of their appointments and medications, and participate in virtual visits with clinicians. In this way, mobile health can provide many benefits for patients, especially for those with complicated care and dietary restrictions.
"Importantly mobile technology has been used to improve treatment adherence; address patient-reported symptoms in real time; improve nutrition, activity and mental health; assist in empowering patients to reverse the predominantly one-way care delivery system; and place the patient at the center of their own health care," said Wael Hussein, MD, of Satellite Healthcare.
A total of 949 patients (632 receiving hemodialysis and 317 receiving home dialysis) across 3 U.S. states completed the survey. Among participants, 81% owned smartphones or other Internet-capable devices, and 72% reported using the Internet. The majority (70%) reported intermediate or advanced mobile health proficiency.
The main reasons for using mobile health were for making appointments (56%), communicating with healthcare personnel (56%), and obtaining laboratory results (55%). The main concern with mobile health was privacy and security (18%).
Mobile health proficiency was lower in older patients, participants with Hispanic/Latinx ethnicity, and those with less than college education. Employment was associated with higher proficiency.
"Mobile health can be utilized to bring along a number of interventions that can help people on dialysis manage their health and improve independence," said Dr. Hussein. "Findings of our study are encouraging to healthcare providers and technology developers to invest in innovations and solutions that utilize mobile health.
An accompanying editorial notes that applying mobile health to kidney care could benefit from a number of lessons learned from other clinical areas where the use of apps is more widespread.
An accompanying Patient Voice editorial provides the perspective of a patient who has lived with kidney disease for 18 years, noting that "integrating mobile health into the kidney healthcare system will empower patients to embrace taking charge of their health.
Study co-authors include Paul N. Bennett, PhD, Sloane Pace, BSc, Shijie Chen, MPH, Veronica Legg, MS, Jugjeet Atwal, DPrMan, Sumi Sun, MPH, and Brigitte Schiller, MD.