The Rise of Mobile and Web-based Technology in Health Care
The use of smartphones, tablets, websites, and wearable technologies to monitor and intervene in areas of health and wellness is increasing. The mobile health market is expected to reach $59 billion by the year 2020. In particular, smartphones are among the most rapidly adopted technologies in history and are changing the way information and services are accessed. According to recent studies (Pew Research, 2014 and 2015), 64% of American adults own a smartphone - in contrast, fewer own a tablet computer (45%). When considering the introduction of technology into care, it may be helpful to be aware of the following recent statistics about smartphone ownership:
In response to this growth in use, the development of provider and patient smartphone applications (apps) targeting health and wellness has exploded, spanning topics from fitness, meditation, and brain games to interactive treatment plans, medication monitoring, and test results.
This Mini-Clinic focuses on apps and self-management web programs designed by VA and its partners that are relevant to behavioral health and wellness.
How can using apps support the care I provide to Veterans?
Below are a few of the ways that technology and web programs can be helpful:
There are three types of health apps and web programs:
Most of the apps are designed for two major operation systems: iOS (iPhone/iPad) and Android. However, there are also many website based programs and they can be accessed by any device (such as computer, tablet, or smartphone) connected to a web browser and the internet. As you explore the various options, keep in mind that it is not only mobile devices that are shaping the future of technology in care. Increasingly, healthcare-focused communications are taking place on social media platforms. Research suggests that, worldwide, 75,000 health professionals use Twitter to discuss treatments and share information. Learning about and incorporating health technology into your practice can be beneficial to both you and your Veteran clients.
The Mood Coach is an app designed to support Behavioral Activation, an evidence-based psychotherapy. The app works to improve mood by assisting clients to engage in positive activities. It can be used by the client alone or as part of a treatment plan with a health care provider.