Many people living in rural areas have poor access to healthcare providers, due to problems with transportation, distance from the nearest practitioner, or a lack of available doctors. Mobile health technologies are helping solve some of those challenges by enabling patients to receive care remotely.
Get Real Health Clinical Subject Matter Expert Jennifer Dunphy recently attended the American Telemedicine Association Conference held in Baltimore. In her presentation, she explained how monitoring patients in their everyday environment will ultimately reduce the financial strain on the healthcare system.
When a patient misses a doctor’s appointment, his illness could worsen, resulting in a visit to an emergency room or other acute care setting. However, clinical testing of Get Real Health’s patient engagement platform, InstantPHR™, demonstrates that if patients properly monitor their health and communicate with their caregivers, the number of hospital visits, readmissions, crisis line calls and — for some mentally ill patients, the number of arrests — can be reduced.
Dunphy said that for many patients with chronic illnesses, a hospital visit followed by simple care instructions can enable them to take care of themselves successfully without needing to be readmitted. Mobile health technologies that facilitate simple care plans and such functions as health journaling and secure messaging between patient and caregiver also help reduce lost productivity, which is a $32 billion problem.