The vast majority of Americans say they would welcome using technology and mobile devices to monitor their health, according to a recent study by the Society for Participatory Medicine, a nonprofit membership organization focused on patient engagement.
The study found 84 percent of survey respondents felt tracking blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, physical activity and other data with a user-friendly mobile device between provider visits would help to better manage their health.
"The important findings from the survey show patients really want to partner with physicians," said Daniel Z. Sands, MD, co-founder, co-chair of the Society for Participatory Medicine.
"It's not a typical service industry, like the car wash model of healthcare where the patient cruises through the system," he added. "Providers need to engage patients, and patients want it."
In fact, 77 percent of survey respondents felt it was both important for themselves and their healthcare provider.
ORC International interviewed more than 1,000 Americans on behalf of the Society for Participatory Medicine and found 76 percent of respondents would use a clinically accurate and easy-to-use monitoring device; 81 percent would be more likely to use a device if their provider recommended it, and 57 percent would like to use the device and share the information with their provider.
"I think many physicians believe patients just want to come in for their visits, but don't really want to engage in their healthcare," said Sands. "The participatory method is really important, but the question is, do physicians want to have a partnership?"
"If we get it right, we have the opportunity to leverage technology to help patients contribute to their health information without coming into the office," he added. "This information is valuable to patients and to providers. It's an important tool to get healthcare outside of the office."
According to Sands, it's a change in mindset for many providers that medical schools are attempting to combat. But it's challenging in the constraints of a medical practice to transition to this type of care. Further research must be done on physicians to determine their issues and thoughts.