Skip to content

5 reasons that prevent doctors from using mobile apps

July 17, 2012

See on Scoop.itsm in healthcare

Despite exuberance in the technology community, there is much resistance in the medical community about the adoption of medical apps for prescribing.

(…) “Most physicians do utilize mobile apps for reference purposes. Despite exuberance in the technology community, there is much skepticism and resistance in the medical community about the adoption of medical apps for prescribing purposes. Ways in which digital health technologies may be more easily adopted by physicians have been reviewed previously. Some of the potential reasons for pushback by physicians are considered below:

1. Lack of reimbursement. As fee for service continues to be the financial model of most of healthcare today, any additional patient care workload whether it be a new procedure or technology is met first with the question “Is it a reimbursable service?” This is a reality for providers, hospitals, and companies developing the technologies. Changes in reimbursement models, emphasis on hospital cost containment, and the entrance of large corporations to the medical app development industry might mitigate this obstacle.

2. Bad taste from EHRs. Physicians are still experiencing the pain of adoption of electronic health records, Though medical apps differ significantly from EHRs with regards in technology, purpose, and ease of use, they might be the objects of a backlash to patient management technologies in general.

3. Many physicians are still ideologically distant from participatory medicine. The Society for Participatory Medicine defines Participatory Medicine as a movement in which networked patients shift from being mere passengers to responsible drivers of their health, and in which providers encourage and value them as full partners. Many physicians are not used to patients being active partners in healthcare. The paternalistic nature of the way care is delivered still lives in the fabric of medicine today. It is hoped that medical apps are tools which will dismantle this mindset and pave the way for participatory medicine.

4. Medical apps do not represent sophisticated technology. There is a belief in the medical marketing community that unless a technology is robotic, made from materials never seen, performs a task never witnessed, or costs more than $1M, it is neither “cool” enough for a physician to get excited about nor sexy enough for a hospital to advertize that it has the only one on the block. While some apps are connected to relatively sophisticated tools or utilize complex nanotechnology, even apps simple enough as SMS texting can potentially make a significant difference in patients’ lives. Physicians need to get excited about this whole new care delivery model which engages patients, and will hopefully save money and simplify care.

5. Physicians don’t believe medical apps will be effective tools. This could be the biggest hurdle. In its recommendations to the HHS, the Text4Health Task Force recommended “Future health text messaging programs by HHS, or in which HHS is a partner (not specified whether operational partner or reimbursement partner) should also include a scientific evaluation component.” This is neither binding nor refers to other mHealth technology. While all app developers will not be able to afford nor desire to conduct clinical trials, the simple question as to whether an app is effective is a natural and valid one. Well-conducted clinical trials have been performed already for some technologies. Johns Hopkins University’s Global Health Initiative is conducting efficacy studies of medical apps, and should shed some light on this arena.

While these are reasons why physicians might not view medical apps as important tools in their present armamentarium, changes in the healthcare landscape will propel them to prominence. (…)

See on www.kevinmd.com

Advertisements

From → mhealth

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: