SOURCE: Mobiquity, Inc.

Mobiquity, Inc.

November 23, 2015 09:00 ET

New Research Finds Patients With Chronic Diseases Are Eager to Use Mobile Tools to Better Manage Their Health

Mobiquity Study Finds a Majority (63%) Consider Managing Their Own Condition "Extremely Important"

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwired - Nov 23, 2015) - A new study released today by mobile engagement provider Mobiquity exposes the gap between patients' demand for taking control of their own health and the accessibility or availability of digital and mobile tools when it comes to the management of chronic health conditions. The study, conducted by an independent research firm, revealed that one third of patients with chronic diseases don't currently use mobile apps to manage their conditions, but would like to start; in fact, one in four respondents feel that wearable devices are the way of the future. Interestingly, almost 50 percent of patients believe they should bring information/digital tools to their doctor -- rather than the other way around -- reinforcing their desire to be actively involved in managing their health rather than trust their doctors to exclusively manage it.

This new study corroborates findings published by Mobiquity last year demonstrating that a range of intervention strategies is necessary to improve medication adherence across patient populations.

Key findings
When asked about the most challenging aspects of managing their conditions, 26 percent of respondents agree that finding direct means of communicating with health professionals presents the biggest hurdle. Other top challenges include:

  • Monitoring changes in health (25%)
  • Remembering to take medication (20%)
  • Keeping up to date with medical advancements, treatments, etc. (18%)

While only 24 percent report using smartphones, apps or wearables to manage their conditions today, most (85%) of those patients claim they are helpful as a healthcare tool.

It's clear the potential for digital solutions is vast: 40 percent of respondents feel mobile tools play an important role in overall healthcare. When asked the most important thing a mobile tool could do to help manage their chronic conditions, respondents see great potential:

  • "Keep me healthier" (42%)
  • "Lift the burden of self-monitoring" (18%)

The people most likely to use smartphones, apps or wearables to manage their health conditions are those patients managing asthma (30%) and obesity (30%).

A patient's role 
Respondents overwhelmingly put themselves at the heart their healthcare, with 89 percent of patients placing great importance on managing their conditions on their own. Many patients now believe in taking on a more central role in monitoring their health, including:

  • Conduct regular research/reading to stay up to date on recent treatment and advances (50%)
  • Ask their doctor if there are tools they could be using to monitor their health outside of the doctor office (48%)
  • Bring information/tools to their doctor (47%)
  • Be responsible for finding tools that monitor their health (40%)

"These findings confirm a trend we've been seeing -- that patients are becoming the 'CEO' of their own healthcare," said Scott Snyder, Ph.D., president and chief strategy officer, Mobiquity. "The days of leaving it solely to their doctor are gone. The findings of this study should serve as a wake-up call to those in the industry: that we can dramatically improve overall health outcomes with the right tools and education. Patients are hungry for tools that make managing their conditions easier, not more complicated -- and they need to be easy to find." 

Trending toward wearables
When it comes to the attitude toward wearables, it appears they have a bright future ahead. Concerning their chronic conditions:

  • 23 percent of respondents don't currently use wearables, but would like to start
  • 11 percent report that it's too hard to remember to use a mobile app alone
  • 26 percent claim they will only consider using no-touch tools (e.g., wearables) to monitor their health

Snyder adds: "As wearables such as The Apple Watch and Fitbit become more mainstream, the healthcare industry will need to find ways to integrate them into the management of chronic conditions. Not only will it help patients better manage their health, but it will also improve outcomes by arming both patients and doctors with more relevant, individualized information."

Mobiquity commissioned independent research firm Research Now to survey 1,000 patients suffering from chronic conditions (arthritis, asthma, cancer, COPD, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, obesity and osteoporosis). The study was conducted between October 14-20, 2015.

https://www.mobiquityinc.com/insights/blog/new-research-exposes-gap-mobile-healthcare

About Mobiquity
Mobiquity is a mobile engagement provider creating innovative solutions that drive business value. Because mobile is in our DNA, clients benefit from how we expertly and effectively blend the three key disciplines that unleash the power and innovation of mobile computing: strategy, user-centered design and core technology. Since inception in 2011, we have worked with more than 200 companies, including CVS, Fidelity Investments, MetLife, the New York Post, Pfizer, Medavie Blue Cross, Putnam Investments, The Boston Globe, The Weather Channel and Weight Watchers International. To learn more, visit www.mobiquityinc.com.