- 82 percent of U.S. consumers do not use telehealth.
- In 2016, researchers posing as patients turned to 16 different telemedicine apps to diagnose skin issues. The results? Some of the online doctors misdiagnosed conditions like syphilis, others prescribed unnecessary meds, and two of the sites used doctors who aren’t licensed to practice in the state the patient was located.
- Even in the digital age, a lot of people simply want to see their doctor in person. They’re not Luddites. But sick, vulnerable people often need in-person reassurance from another human being in the room. A smartphone app simply won’t cut it.
- Still telehealth is going to find a niche.
- The Journal of Medical Internet Research says “Although mHealth is growing in popularity, the evidence for efficacy is still limited,” wrote the study’s corresponding author, David Novillo-Ortiz, MLIS, MSc, PhD.
- “More than 100,000 (health) applications are now available in the leading app stores, and the assortment is constantly growing,” says a BAEK study that was discussed at the congress. “But only a fraction of the programs are certified as medical products.”
- John Torous, MD, a researcher and psychiatry resident at Harvard University, said “We have little evidence about the risks or benefits of smartphone use in clinical care,”
- “The problem with these apps is they’re so new and novel; it’s probably going to be hard establishing a standard of care, or what a reasonable doctor would, and would not do when using these products,” says Nathan Cortez, a professor and associate dean for research at SMU Dedman School of Law.
KEY TAKEAWAY: It’s easy to understand why health systems are so interested in mHealth. Smartphones have been creeping into every facet of modern life for more than a decade, providing unprecedented access to huge patient populations. “More than 100,000 (health) applications are now available in the leading app stores, and the assortment is constantly growing, but 65% are health and fitness apps.
KEY TAKEAWAY: According to Comscore “within the US, [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]apps were responsible for 88% of mobile consumption in December[/inlinetweet]. That compares with 87% in June, according to prior ComScore data, with app usage at that time relatively equal on smartphones (88%) and tablets (87%). Can pharma companies really leverage apps for business objectives?
KEY TAKEAWAY: [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]Hidden in all the news about Mhealth and new electronic health records is the fact that patients are slowly taking control of THEIR health care[/inlinetweet]. If this trend continues, and it will, I expect HCP’s, insurers and pharma to start paying the price for overcomplicating health care.