- Around one in four patients have texted or emailed a picture of a medical issue to their doctor, according to a survey conducted by communications firm Ketchum.
- More than one-half of patients have used their smartphone to communicate information to their provider.
- Nearly one-half use a mobile app to that track health, fitness or medicine, according to the survey.
It seems patients are becoming more comfortable using technology to share information with their providers. With smartphone usage at 68%, a majority of those users have begun using their devices to discuss health with their providers.
Health apps are supposed to encourage patient engagement and make them more active participants in their healthcare. However, getting patients to consistently and reliably use them is a different story. While patients want to use technology to monitor their health and communicate with providers, they often don’t keep up with it.
Even then, if health data from wearables, health apps were consistently input by individuals, the devices and apps themselves are still called into question over their reliability for provider/clinical use. By and large, these consumer driven health apps haven't undergone evidence-based testing for the clinical community though there have been some inroads being made on that front.
Health IT vendors are also still working on integration for data fields into products related to EHRs and HIEs. While stating one-half of patients have used their smartphone to communicate information to their provider is a good finding, the survey only included about 2,000 respondents. These tools can be good for communicating with providers but it still seems we have a ways to go before self-tracking health data is going to enter into the provider arena for clinical use.