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mHealth Trends Report: Patient Expectations for Healthcare Communication

Posted by The CareSync Team

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Dec 5, 2017 1:50:51 PM

Increase in mobile health apps and mobile devices has led to increased interest in benefits of mHealth trends.As smartphone usage grows and patients increasingly expect instant access to services from nearly every industry, mobile health (mHealth) technology adoption is on the rise. Studies that revolve around mHealth trends provide valuable insight into how patients and healthcare providers are using mobile communication technologies to connect with one another and enhance patient satisfaction by leveraging the benefits of mHealth.

Perspectives on Patient Communication With Healthcare Providers

In The 2017 Connected Patient Report commissioned by Salesforce, American patients (defined as those who have health insurance and a primary care doctor) were asked to share their expectations regarding the types of communications tools they would use to connect with healthcare providers, insurance payers, and pharmaceutical firms.

What follows are several key findings from the report and several others showing the benefits of mHealth trends impacting patient engagement and communication.

Doctor-Patient Communication and Patient Medical Records

Patients have expressed strong interest in using mHealth trends to improve healthcare communication and chronic disease management.

According to Salesforce, the data revealed that “a majority of Americans currently communicate with their doctors via traditional channels to schedule appointments, with 80% using the phone.”

“Three in five Americans who have health insurance and a primary care doctor (60%) say they rely on their doctor to keep track of their health records. [And] 28% of patients keep their health records in a folder, shoebox, lockbox, drawer or other home-based physical storage method - nearly the same amount (29%) that use a single self-service portal provided by their healthcare and/or insurance provider.”

Despite this, a Markovsky/Kelton patient survey reported that 66% are open to embracing benefits of mHealth trends, including improving healthcare communication.

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Yet another patient survey by Ketchum communications firm about mHealth trends showed that many are already actively using mobile devices for health purposes and doctor-patient relationship management.

  • 58% of patients like mobile messaging with healthcare providers through mobile health apps
  • 47% use mobile health apps as health and fitness trackers

And statistics from other surveys reveal that age is not a limiting factor when it comes to mHealth trends or use of mobile health apps.

  • 80% of seniors already use mHealth (Welltok)
  • 60% of Millennials prefer telemedicine to in-person doctor’s office interactions (Salesforce)

David Clain, athenaResearch manager, said, “If you look at patients in their 60s and up to 65, a lot of those patients are still in the workforce. They’ve had iPhones for 10 years since they were in their mid-50s. So I think that a lot of those patients are comfortable with using technology, and a patient portal may be a new approach to working with their physicians in a way that they didn’t do before, but they’re comfortable getting online, they’re comfortable using their phones to get on a portal, or using a computer.”

Healthcare Communication with Insurance Providers

The majority of patients surveyed prioritize use of mHealth trends and modern digital health tools to improve healthcare communication with health insurance providers and doctors.

The data showed healthcare communication between patients and their health insurance providers is also primarily via the phone.

However, 72% of those surveyed think it’s important that their health insurance provider uses mHealth trends and modern tools like web portals, live chat/instant message, or two-way video when communicating with them.

The report also revealed that millennials are more than three times as likely as baby boomers (26% vs. 7%) to use their insurance companies to find healthcare providers.

Connecting With Pharmaceutical Companies

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According to Salesforce, “pharmaceutical companies have an opportunity to engage with patients in new ways.”

  • 72% of respondents agree “they would choose drugs from pharmaceutical companies that are engaged in their outcomes vs. those who are not.”
  • Three in five indicated they are open to virtual support service options, such as video conference calls, with pharmaceutical companies to help them understand medications.
  • 83% (88% of millennials) “would share their experiences and direct feedback about medications with a pharmaceutical company to help improve their abilities to develop and support new medications.”

To learn more about patient relationships with the healthcare industry, download the full Salesforce “2017 Connected Patient Report.”

For more information about health technology and how it can help you provide effective care coordination services to improve reimbursements and health outcomes for your patients, contact us at sales@caresync.com or call 800-501-2984.

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