Does mHealth = data overload for docs?

I noticed this “Data Overload: Doctors, Apps, and Wearables” video of Dr Robert Watcher being promoted on Twitter and it seems to be peddling a very common misconception amongst people who don’t actually understand or use mHealth with Patients eg. Forbes “Doctors Don’t Know What To Do With Data From Fitness Trackers” (Dec 2015)Laurie Orlov: mHealth Mania – beware the hype (Feb 2013)“Mobile health = Hype” (Dec 2012), etc.

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mHealth Insights

“more and more patients are using wearables and apps that’s both exciting but it’s also creating some real problems for physicians why is it exciting because patients now have the ability to monitor their own sugars or their breathing rates or their steps and for many of them that kind of engagement is very positive but for many physicians when you talk about the idea of all 2,000 their patients collecting data all day long and streaming and wirelessly to the physicians medical record for most doctors they find that prospect terrifying”

Why do people peddle such nonsense? There’s plenty of evidence showing that healthcare utilisation isn’t even increased when you give Patients ECG machines! (so long as they’re Mobile First designed/make sense to the born mobile generation).

Also what’s the point in making this all seem like it’s new and terrifying? I have friends who have been monitoring their blood glucose for 20+ years and there’s no question that their self care has increased the workload of their GP (AND it’s also enabled them to live much longer healthier lives).

“and so we have to figure out a way of managing this data and I suspect what it will be is having more sophisticated computer programs that essentially triage the data and in particular larger practices there may need to be other individuals than the doctors health coaches case managers and others were monitoring the data helping patients manage their own care and getting the doctors involved in  the patients seem to be doing poorly”

Endocrinologists working with Patients who use Telcare medical devices (that have their own embedded mobile connectivity) have been doing this for years. Check out this talk  Prof Jonathan Javitt (coFounder of Telcare) gave back in 2013 that explains how this new model of care is empowering Patients and their Care Teams.

John Maynard Keynes The biggest problem is not to let people accept new ideas, but to let them forget the old ones

Related: The future of health monitoring is here but it’s being used to make animals run faster.

About David Doherty
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