Will mHealth improve the lives of patients with chronic diseases?
| Feb 2, 2016
With widespread media attention and active advertising by companies such as Garmin, Fitbit and Withings, usage of wearable fitness trackers among American adults is 7%, according to Kantar Health’s 2015 U.S. National Health and Wellness Survey. However, awareness and usage of wireless, smartphone-compatible devices that help manage chronic conditions, such as connected glucose meters and blood pressure monitors, are low, with only 28% awareness and 6% usage among diabetics and only 26% awareness and 4% usage among people with heart disease.
In the diabetes space, this should change now that Roche and LifeScan, who together dominate the global diabetes monitoring market, have made great strides in the connected glucometer space in 2015, Roche with the Accu-Chek Aviva Connect and LifeScan with a Verio Sync app upgrade that enables integration with Apple HealthKit. The fact that they utilize the same test strips as non-wireless Aviva and Verio models means physician recommendation and patient adoption should be high as insurance coverage is ensured and changes in current prescriptions are not necessary. Diabetes patients can go wireless with minimal changes to current behaviors.
Traditional mobile health solutions that require manual entry of blood glucose data are not a reliable way to capture accurate data and keep users actively involved, resulting in missing data points and inaccurate glucose trends data. As wireless blood glucose monitoring becomes more widespread, healthcare providers will have the data they need to make better treatment decisions, which should lead to better health outcomes.
This widespread adoption can also revolutionize healthcare-related research, especially health economics and outcomes research, where passively collected blood glucose data combined with actively collected survey and interview data can uncover accurate, reliable data on efficacy and the patient behaviors and attitudes that directly affect health outcomes.
For more information on mHealth and wearable technology use, see our infographic:You Wear It Well