Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Another discussion about mobile health and mHealth

The other day, I was having a conversation with several people about the rapidly evolving world of mobile health or mHealth. The phrase "mobile health" is becoming such a buzzword these days. I wonder if it's being integrated into medical school curricula. Medical students are being expected to carry a mobile device during their clinical rotations, but are they using these devices effectively?  These days, almost every medical student and resident uses some type of mobile computing device. The majority of them are using smartphones, but we're definitely seeing more students and physicians carrying an iPad around. The netbook phenomenon isn't over given that these devices are so small and affordable.

So how are patients leveraging mobile computing resources to improve their health? Many of them are using mobile apps that are allowing them to manage their chronic conditions. Physicians have the opportunity to coach and counsel patients about the use of mobile technology, but are they equipped for such a task? Are most physicians even familiar with the types of mobile health resources that are out there? Over the next few months, I'll be writing about mobile health resources for the patient vs. those mobile health resources that are really geared for the health care provider. 

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