Healthcare News & Insights

Patients want health care on their smartphones

Health IT isn’t just giving hospitals more ways to use technology to treat patients. Patients are also interested in using tech tools to manage their own care. 

153446595However, many are finding the options offered by their doctors are limited.

As mobile computing devices are becoming more a popular, a large number of Americans are interested in using a smartphone or tablet to communicate with their healthcare providers or for other health-related activities, according to a recent poll from Harris Interactive and HealthDay.

Many respondents want to use those mobile devices to send and receive information with their doctor. Among the 2,000 adults surveyed:

  • 37% want to use a smartphone or tablet to ask their doctors questions
  • 37% want to book appointments using those devices
  • 36% would like to be able to check the effects and side effects of medication, and
  • 35% want to receive test results on their mobile device.

The patients polled also expressed an interest in using smartphones and tablets for treatments and diagnoses:

  • 38% want to check their blood pressure using a mobile gadget
  • 36% would like to be able to monitor their heart beat to find irregularities
  • 34% were interested in using applications to track weight, nutrition and other health factors
  • 32% would like to be able to photograph their eyes to diagnoses an eye problem, and
  • 32% would like to monitor glucose levels on a mobile device.

Survey respondents were less interested in receiving email or text message reminders to fill prescriptions, take medications or meet their health goals.

Many options not offered

Despite that growing interest, those options aren’t available for many patients. In some cases, such as for remote monitoring, the technology isn’t available yet. But for other items on patients’ wish lists, healthcare providers haven’t adopted the functionality.

As hospitals and practices expand their use of health IT, one important step should be to find out what capabilities patients want. That may involve conducting formal surveys or just having administrative staff ask questions when patients come in for a visit.

Other recent surveys have found that people want access to more tools to help them manage their own health care, and increasing engagement through online capabilities can be beneficial for both providers and patients.

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  1. prpennin says:

    This is so true, not just patients but doctors and nurses also want mobile healthcare. This is the reason mobile apps like and are becoming very popular. But Hipaa compliance is still a big concern


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