Health

What is mobile health?

smartphone

Mobile health is the use of smartphones and Tablets to improve patient outcomes.

For example, cancer patients have to deal with many side effects caused by their treatment. Research at Kingston University has shown that patients don’t report these side effects in a timely manner which may lead to complications. These complications can lead to hospital admission or a delay in treatment etc. Therefore it’s important to avoid delaying the reporting of side effects .

You may ask, why do patients delay?

This is due to several reasons, mainly not knowing if it’s severe enough to report, a patient will often think “I’ll tell my consultant when I see him / her next”, especially if it’s after hours or weekend as they don’t want to bother anyone.

Using a smartphone or a tablet, a patient can now report a side effect and receive advice through a system developed at Kingston University.
If the side effect is severe and needs attention, the app will automatically send an alert to the patient’s nurse or doctor and they will contact the patient with advice.

This ‘app’ is designed to offer cancer patients support when they’re at home . It is important to note that is not meant to replace human contact but rather to support patients between appointments. There has been several studies showing that such ‘apps’ improve patient experience and outcomes . The barriers to using such an ‘app’ is a patient’s lack of experience with technology. Therefore this should only be offered to patients who have daily engagement with smart devices such as smart phones and tablets.

Find out more about Kingston University’s research in medical information and network technologies