The Future of Mobile Healthcare


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I suspect the news my smartphone will soon turn into my doctor is exaggerated. While a consultation with my phone will always be easier to arrange than an appointment with my GP, I know for a fact that even the techiest among us still want to see a living, breathing, qualified person when they’re under the weather.
I say this with confidence as this is one of the key findings from the first ever mHealth report by Ruder Finn. The report, based on a survey of more than 1,000 smartphone and tablet users, shows that while there’s an appetite for healthcare applications, and consumers generally love a good app, developers of health applications have not convinced the public of this kind of app’s value to them. The survey’s results show that apps for social media, games and news are the most popular with users of smartphones and tablets; healthy living apps languish in last place in terms of popularity.
The survey, conducted on our behalf by pollster YouGov, reveals some interesting links between type of device and the likelihood of the user to use health & lifestyle apps. The research suggests apps that help take away some of the pain associated with healthcare – booking appointments and getting hold of test results for example – are more popular than those to actually manage health. Our results suggested a great deal of caution around apps to help patients manage long term health conditions – significantly even among those suffering from chronic disease/ health problems. These findings may come as a disappointment to the World Health Organization, which along with The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), is launching an mHealth initiative to help combat noncommunicable diseases, based on the fact that mHealth is cost effective, scalable and sustainable.
In our survey, there is a difference between the generations and the impact that might have on app usage. While 75% of respondents between 25-34 owned a smartphone fewer than 30% in the 55+ category did. Although everyone accesses healthcare it’s usually the oldest among us who use it most. It will be interesting to see how usage patterns change as the gamers and Tweeters of today get older.

This presentation also contains slides from Prof. Christopher James
Professor of Healthcare Technology (University of Warwick) and 
Director, Institute of Digital Healthcare; Dr Tom Barber
Associate Professor and Honorary Consultant Endocrinologist, 
University of Warwick and UHCW NHS Trust and Owen Booth
Head of Content, Diabetes UK.

The event can be seen at the hashtag #rfmhealth too.

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  • Aging populations lead to longer term conditions, complicated by comorbidities. Tighter fiscal constraints coupled with rising costs associated with healthcare lead to Increasing patient to medic ratio; Increased pressures on standards and quality.
  • The Future of Mobile Healthcare

    1. 1. The Future ofMobileHealthcareNovember 2012
    2. 2. The mHealth panelProf. Christopher Dr Tom Barber Owen Booth Jon Hoeksma EmmaJames Associate Head of Editor, eHealth SindenProfessor of Professor and Content, Insider Head |Healthcare Honorary Diabetes UK HealthcareTechnology Consultant technology(University of Endocrinologist,  practice,Warwick) and  University of Ruder Finn UKDirector, Institute of Warwick andDigital Healthcare UHCW NHS Trust ©Ruder Finn 2012
    3. 3. Ruder Finn 2012 mHealth Repor t Summary of key findings ©Ruder Finn 2012
    4. 4. Ruder Finn mHealth Repor t• The survey was conducted by YouGov among its online panel of GB adults• Total sample size was 2,148 adults of whom 1,204 had access to a smartphone/ tablet• Fieldwork was undertaken between 26th -29th June 2012• The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+) ©Ruder Finn 2012
    5. 5. What are people using? ©Ruder Finn 2012
    6. 6. Current healthy living appuse ©Ruder Finn 2012
    7. 7. Reasons why respondents don ’tcurrently use health apps• I have no need to But 21% said they access health-related were very or fairly apps likely to use a service• I prefer to talk to my delivered via mobile doctor in person about technology, to better any health-related manage their health questions by the end of the• I do not find health year apps to be helpful ©Ruder Finn 2012
    8. 8. What did respondentswant from mHealth? ©Ruder Finn 2012
    9. 9. Top three appsFor me….• An app to book an appointment with the GP For my doctor…• An app to view your medical • Monitoring devices that can alert records carers, doctors and nurses to a• An app to check test results health emergency • An app to access test results • Devices that enable doctors and nurses to record observations and share information while away from the surgery or hospital ©Ruder Finn 2012
    10. 10. Introducing the panel… ©Ruder Finn 2012
    11. 11. theInstitute of Digital Healthcare Christopher James Professor of Healthcare Technology & Director of IDH
    12. 12. Emerging model of the challenges we faceHealthcare Old model of care:  New model:  Focus on acute conditions,  Focus on long term reactive management conditions, prevention &  Hospital centred, disjointed continuing care episodes  Integrated with people’s lives  Doctor dependent in homes & communities  Patient as passive recipient;  Team based, shared record self care infrequent  Patient as partner; self care  Use of ICT rare encouraged & supported  Dependent on ICT & devices
    13. 13. The Institute of Digital Healthcare who are we?A world-class £4M 5-year funded partnership between the NHS, WMG, WMS and other relevant organisations Aims: to improve people’s health and wellbeing through the use of innovative digital technologies and methodologies Wedo this through high quality research, education and training capabilities
    14. 14. The Institute of Digital Healthcare what do we do?
    15. 15. Intervention FrameworkIterative Process
    16. 16. Mobile Health Technology:A Clinician’s Perspective Dr. Tom Barber Professor and Honorary Consultant Endocrinologist University of Warwick and UHCW NHS Trust The Future of Mobile Healthcare London, 27th November 2012
    17. 17. Outline of presentation• My background• General remarks regarding clinical applicability of m-health• The case for obesity• The Human Metabolism Research Unit• Concluding remarks
    18. 18. My BackgroundEdinburghSHO General Medicine1999-2001 (MRCP) Newcastle University 1995-1998 (MBBS)Carlisle and SpR Endo 2001-2004MiddlesbroughJunior House Officer1998-1999 Cambridge UniversityUniversity of Warwick 1992-1995 (MA Hons)UHCW NHS Trust2010-presentAssociate Professor Oxford UniversityHonorary Consultant (OCDEM)Endocrinology, Obesity, 2004-2007 DPhilMetabolism, Diabetes 2007-2010 SpR Endo and Locum Consultant
    19. 19. General remarks regarding clinical applicability of m-Health • Broad applicability: administration (appointments), direct and continuous monitoring of health/disease parameters, ‘alarms/alerts’, interaction with health care professionals, reminders, disease prevention • Confidentiality is key! • Ubiquity of usage of mobile devices and apps • Avoidance of acute admission in chronic disorders (eg. diabetes-related) • Ease of use/application is essential • Communication improved • Remote clinics (eg. thyroid disorders; remote communities) • Adjunctive rather than replacement • Facilitate many aspects of traditional healthcare • Paramedic application (communication with A&E) • Financial implications for NHS are substantial • Health of the nation
    20. 20. The Case for ObesityThe global obesity epidemic: trends in children
    21. 21. The Case for ObesityPortion sizes and activity
    22. 22. The Case for ObesityThe Link Between Sleep Deprivation and Obesity Forest plot of the association between Adults who sleep less than 5 hours Adults who sleep less than 5 hours short duration of sleep (≤5 hrs) and per night have a 60% increase in the per night have a 60% increase in the risk for obesity compared to adults risk for obesity compared to adults obesity in studies carried out in adults who sleep more who sleep more Cappuccio et al. SLEEP 2008
    23. 23. The Case for ObesityThe effect of cold exposure on brown fat activationin an obese manA sugar-cube volume of brown fat can burn off up to 4Kg white fat in a year if stimulated
    24. 24. The Human Metabolism Research Unit
    25. 25. Concluding remarks
    26. 26. Developing the Diabetes UKTracker AppOwen Booth| November 2012
    27. 27. 1. Let’s develop an app!
    28. 28. “We need to do an app because…”● Everyone’s doing them● Mobile is really important● Something something fundraising● Er…
    29. 29. Let’s start again…
    30. 30. How can we find out what our audience wants?Diabetes UK Facebook page Snapshot: June 2012● Page likes 39,388● Total reach 46,381● Number of times DUK posts shared 682● Number of comments on DUK posts 667● Number of likes on DUK posts 2,818
    31. 31. What are they talking about?Diabetes UK Facebook page comments● 27% comments about Blood Glucose levels● 26% people seeking medical information● 18% concerned supporters● 10% external links● 8% complaints about diabetes● 6% general conversation● 5% people seeking nutritional advice
    32. 32. Will they talk to us?● We used Facebook, Twitter and forums to ask our (potential) users about how they manage their condition…● … and to source 15 face-to-face interviewees● Then we fed the initial insights back to the community for comments● … and got 200+ responses
    33. 33. What we found outKey insights about our audience● They don’t tell the truth to their doctors● They think family and friends dont understand● They like to share information with their ‘inner circle’● They often keep notebooks to monitor their condition● …including their emotional state
    34. 34. User goals“I want…”● Something that helps me self-manage, even on bad days● Something that’s easy to share with others● To be able to communicate about the daily impact of my condition● To participate in the development of my own healthcare plan● A better relationship with my health care professional
    35. 35. Using the Diabetes UK Tracker app● Log and track blood glucose, insulin, carbohydrates, calories, weight and ketones● View data in day and week graphs to spot trends● Track feelings - and see whether this affects levels● Share entries with friends or healthcare professionals● Save specific records as talking points‘  Recognise patterns and use them as reminders in healthcare appointments.  Get the most out of appointments by setting an agenda of concerns.
    36. 36. Results● 25,000 downloads in first year● 22,000 updates downloaded – suggests ongoing use● Extensive user feedback guiding continuing development● Third Sector Excellence Awards 2012: Use of Digital Media – Winner● Unintended consequence: strong response from younger audience, who are often unengaged with their condition
    37. 37. Next steps● Other operating systems● Desktop version● Interest from other charities● Ability to take BG measurements straight from meter?● HCP involvement…???
    38. 38. Thank youFor further information about digital health contact Emma SindenHead| Healthcare Technology PracticeRuder Finn UK+44 (0) 7734 ©Ruder Finn 2012