Integrating Mobile Technology Into Healthcare: A Clinical Trial Success Story

The effect of using mobile technology during a clinical trial weight loss study was explored in a Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Internal Medicine article.

The study, titled “Integrating Technology into Standard Weight Loss Treatment: A Randomized Controlled Trial”, was 12 months long with 70 participants (mean age 57.7 years, 85.5% male) with a BMI > 25.  There were two groups of participants: those who received standard physician care (Standard treatment), and those who received standard treatment supplemented with mobile technology (+Mobile treatment).

Patients in the +Mobile group remotely monitored diet, exercise, and weight on PDAs. This data was submitted daily by participants at the start of the clinical trial, and tapered out to once a month by the end of the study. A status thermometer on the screen of the PDA was then updated automatically based on the patient’s entered data. This allowed patients to remain up to date with their total intake and energy levels for each day.

Results were in favor of mobile technology use. Data showed that the +Mobile group lost 8.6 pounds more, on average, than the Standard group. Additionally, 36% of participants in the +Mobile group lost at least 5% of their initial body weight, as compared with 0% of the Standard group, at the three-month time point. These results occurred due to an intensive multicomponent behavioral treatment consisting of physician care alongside supplemental mobile technology use. Thus, two components were implemented to aid in weight loss, with only one (direct care) requiring extensive time and training by physicians. This addition of mobile technology is an easy adjustment that can be made in many clinical trial settings without additional effort by primary investigator physicians!

Photo used with permission of author, Bonnie Spring.
Photo used with permission of author, Bonnie Spring.

This study shows the promise of mHealth technology in patient care and clinical trials. Not only is mobile technology successful in engaging participants, it also requires less intensive time and instruction by physicians and more remote commitment of the patients. The power and potential of mHealth technology in creating healthy change is evident in these results. Mobile technology is truly a building block to the next level of successful patient care in clinical trials!

To learn more about implementing mobile technology in research, visit http://www.mosio.com/research.

Author: Emily Waller holds an Honors B.S. in Biomedical Engineering, has worked on numerous clinical trials, and as a medical & technical writer.  She writes to promote innovative ideas in healthcare, technology, and research within the online community.  She also loves photography, neuroscience, and household DIY projects.

Mobile Health News: Patients open to app prescriptions, The new age of cardiology: Heartbeats turn digital at country’s first paperless hospital, Mobile broadband revolutionizing how doctors save lives

This is certainly exciting news. Dr Sajid Hakim, head of the cardiology department at Indus hospital has described what many are starting to call the first “paperless hospital” The Karachi-based hospital has integrated mobile right into the heart of the doctors’ daily work routines, and doctors will now be able to see important information about patients even if they’re not in the hospital at the time. It’s always nice to see technology being used to help save lives, and this hospital, that is primarily run on donations, has created a very heart warming story for itself.

The new age of cardiology: Heartbeats turn digital at country’s first paperless hospital

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If you’ve ever wondered how important a role smartphones and wearable fitness gear could play in the world of health, this article certainly explains it well. A lot of patients are using gear like FitBrit or smartphone apps to keep healthy, and doctors would be smart to integrate their own advice and reach out to patients through these devices. Smartphones in particular now play a huge part in our lives, and if you are like many other smartphone owners, it’d be rare to see you without your smartphone close to you or on your person.

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Text Messaging News: How to Improve Post-Sales Support through Mobile, Healthy heart a smartphone away, How smartphones are making customer care hi-tech

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Because of the connectedness of smartphone technology, it becomes extremely easy to send, share and view files across large groups of people when everybody has a smartphone in their hand. Enterprises in India are taking advantage of this by offering statistics and information straight to staff smartphones, allowing members of a company to quickly check information whilst doing other tasks. This is helpful for many different areas of business, but this article seems to highlight the potential benefits for jobs in customer service and support.

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A system in California has been put in place to help farmers ensure they are safely tending to their crops by providing educational videos readily available on smartphones to teach them about the dangers of mistreating pesticide and the plants they are growing. This system first started by offering farmers with text messages to help them do farming the right way, but this new video approach will help those who prefer to watch instead of read, and is also available in multiple languages to help with farmers who do not speak decent English.

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Text Messaging News: Health reminders by text, Emergency text messages a click away after city implements system, Hospital offers parents digital updates on their preemies

Emergency text messages a click away after city implements system

Health reminders by text

mHealth doesn’t have to be all about radical new technology and brand new shiny smartphones. Something as simple as a text message that can be sent to a cheap mobile phone could be considered mHealth, and a text messaging mHealth campaign in Southland and Otago is already on a roll. Those using the service can receive text messages about appointments with general practitioners and can also receive other important information about any medicine or health routines they may need to follow.

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Being a first-time parent can be a very demanding experience, and many parents of new born babies often take the leverage of their shoulders by discussing their baby’s health with a doctor. This can be helpful for a parent but it is sometimes inconvenient for doctors and any other patients they may have. A new technology has been made to ensure that parents can get the information they need about their baby’s healthy digitally to help ease the pressure on both the new mother and father and the doctor.

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Mobile Health News: Making It Easier For Patients and Physicians, ECG into your mobile, Health App Lets Doctors Offer Advice Via Mobile

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As mhealth emerges, there is no doubt that we’ll hit a few snags that may cause issues and problems along the way, but there is also no doubt that mhealth could prove to be a very handy tool for our every day lives. A group of doctors have developed a free mobile app called iTriage that helps patients to keep an eye on their own health conditions and check in with doctors for any help they may need. Doctors can offer advice on a patients health via the app, giving communication between both a patient and a doctor even when neither are in a medical facility.

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Text Messaging News: Texting program targets new moms, Health messages to be sent via cellphone, LAUSD Students Share HIV/STD Statuses Via Text Message

Texting program targets new moms

A new texting program gives tips and information for new upcoming mothers to ensure that they have the best start they need to looking after their first baby. It can be a daunting process, and any help that a mother can get is often needed. The new texting program aims to provide three text messages a week to mothers in New Mexico in the attempt to help mothers keep an eye on the health of themselves and their babies. The texts are also sent out for free, which is always a great thing.

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Text Messaging News: Texting service for expecting moms, Digital Way to Share STD Status Now Available in LAUSD, Service lets kids report bullying via text message

Photo©Reuters

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A new service has been created to help sexually active people have safe sex. Users of the service will be able to share with one another their own status in regards to sexually transmitted diseases straight from their mobile with the tap of a button. This service has been mainly targeted at young people who may not yet understand the importance of having safe sex. By using smartphones to share this information with one another, young people will feel right at home.

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Mobile Health News: Mobile health helps aphasia patients get long term care, Get a Physical Exam via Smartphone, Technology Makes Way for Change in Children’s Health Care

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When you have a certain condition that only a specific doctor can deal with, you may find yourself traveling miles regularly to maintain checkups and when this involves your child or other loved ones it can be very inconvenient and unsettling for everybody involved. Of course, thanks to technology, things can be a whole lot simpler. As an alternative, doctors could in the future contact your child and ensure everything is going well right through the internet. This article points out some examples of just how helpful telemedicine and telehealth can be.

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We’ve had a look at a physical blood pressure monitor that can be attached to your smartphone before, but it looks as if there are many other medical utilities cropping up that can also function alongside your smartphone. These utilities can provide you with health information you may otherwise have to visit the doctor for. It’s not exactly cheap at this point, but some devices will allow you to use your smartphone as your personal health checker, allowing you to keep track of certain conditions such as heart rate or blood sugar levels.

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mHealth News: Bridging the gap in health services delivery, Advanced Remote Patient Monitoring Systems, Mobile – A Bridge Across The Gender Divide

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By being able to see and communicate with patients immediately via video telecommunication, the NHS in the UK has said that they are capable of saving £30k per patient! It sounds like a lot, but because of the quick communication between a doctor and a patient, those suffering from certain conditions or illnesses can use the doctor’s advice to avoid damaging themselves further. This is especially relevant in the case of  strokes, heart attacks or seizures, and will also help many other patients who are suffering from illnesses and could benefit from on-demand help.

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Text Messaging News: Texting for better health, Tips to be taken via text, Text reminders help seniors improve medication adherence

 

 

Tips to be taken via text

If you live in Monmouth and want to lend a helping hand to your community you can now text in to the County Sheriff and “tip” them of anything you may think seems a little dodgy in your area. Although the Monmouth police department still advises to call 911 when involved in a crime in progress, you can text to report less serious crimes and advise police officers about anything you may think needs checking. Whether someone has stolen your bike, or there’s an argument over the road that sounds a little too aggressive, you can text in anonymously and your tip will be sent to a computer at the police department.

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Although Txting lyk ths isn’t going to help your business anytime soon, being able to text within your business to those working with you can help speed things up around the office. Whether you need someone to bring up your coffee from downstairs, or need to quickly relay some information to another colleague, using SMS is a sure-fire way to get your message across as soon as possible. The cost is also a whole lot cheaper than many other forms of communication, and there are even plenty of free IM alternatives designed for smartphone too.

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Text Messaging News: Virgin America encourages passenger flirting with seat-to-seat texting, Have Anxiety? There’s an App for That, Mobile customers using online self-service more satisfied

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Mental illnesses like anxiety can be hard to deal with- they can affect us all, but when walking past someone with such a mental illness, it’s very hard to spot in someone, and because of this many people don’t understand when someone may be depressed or suffering from anxiety. This can be a troublesome experience and can often leave you feeling along. Luckily, just like there is an app for many other things on this Earth, there is now an app for that. The app provides tips and hints for sufferers of anxiety to go with their day and to cope with the anxiety that they have to live with. It provides a source of help for people that may not have the courage to seek it within real individuals and could hopefully help out a lot of lives.

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Texas Urology Clinics Save Time with Vital Interaction

A new system in Texas allows doctors to easily send out texts and emails to patients whenever they may need to reschedule an appointment. This will help both doctors and patients to avoid missing out on appointments and to help them reschedule a time that is suitable for both of them as quickly as possible. It can be a pain waiting for a doctor when you need one, and this new system will lessen the workload for doctors and should allow them to better reschedule meetings with their patients.

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mHealth News Byte: In South Africa – Using Mobile Technology to Improve Maternal Health Access, Mobile Technology Is Transforming Healthcare, Growing ‘App’etite for Mobile Health

In South Africa, Using Mobile Technology to Improve Maternal Health Access

This article highlights an amazing story about a first time mother in South Africa that uses routine text messages from her local doctor to learn more about how to look after her child and what the best tips and hints are to look after her child the best way she can. There are also some messages to help teach mothers how to determine whether their baby is ill or not. The mother manages to save time by not going to the doctors each time she has a question, as most of them are answered in the text messages. This technology could be adapted and used worldwide, and could even send different text messages depending on the stage of development in the babies life.

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Mobile health technologies to rapidly test and track infectious diseases

Many around the world will say that prevention is the best form of cure, and it is very true. The earlier you can spot signs of an illness and deal with it, the less time the illness has time to spread to other people. Scientists in in Newcastle are developing a technology that can work as an early warning system that can use the internet and mobile phones to help track serious infectious diseases.

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Text Messaging News: A Text Message a Day Keeps the Asthma Attack Away, Flexible phone’s corners curl to tell you who’s calling, How Text Messaging Can Drive App Engagement and Revenues

Photo: Researchers from the College of Computing at Georgia Tech have found that a text message a day may keep asthma attacks away, at least in teenagers. -- http://c.gatech.edu/18u1GD

A Text Message a Day Keeps the Asthma Attack Away

A simple text message a day can help asthma sufferers keep track of their illness and treat it appropriately. A new study in Georgia has shown that those that receive just one text message a day that asks whether the user has had an asthma attack that day can help the sufferers to stay in tune with their illness. It’s easy to forget that you have asthma after not having an asthma attack for a long time, and because of this, many people may leave their respirators at home, and this could prove to be a bad choice when a sudden unexpected asthma attack hits. These daily texts will remind sufferers to keep their respirators with them to stay safe.

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Collier schools to start encouraging smartphones in the classroom

Most schools have a strict “no phones in the classroom” mentality. And when they can serve as a distraction to the owner of the phone and those around them, this is understandable, but as smartphones have emerged, some schools have decided to change their policies for the greater good. In Collier County, schools are actively encouraging students to use their smartphones as a tool in class and education instead of a device for social and recreational purposes. Each smartphone could potentially serve as a students personal computer and in the future we could even replace traditional school note books and planners with a simple school smartphone app.

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mHealth NewsByte: 5 Useful Mobile Apps From The US Government, Apps could usher in mobile health revolution, EHRs and mobility: Right from the start

5 Useful Mobile Apps From The US Government

So, although it’s unlikely we’ll ever see an Angry Birds White House edition, the US government have released some mobile apps, and some of them could prove very valuable to you. This article points out 5 apps that you may not know about that could be useful in your life. This includes apps for health care, food management and safety, and family care. These apps help to provide information all in one place to help you improve your day to day life as best as possible.

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Using technology to maintain a personal touch with dental patients

Whilst it’s getting easier to search online and look after your own dental health, there’s nothing like a personal opinion from a professional, and by using technology, patients may be able to get the best of both worlds. By using an online system, a dental patient could search online about their dental health, but also easily book an appointment any time they may need to. Studies have shown that patients now prefer to book appointments online, but at the same time, they like to do the most they can for themselves when it comes to dental care and hygiene.

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Build a High Quality Mobile Health Program for Chronic Disease Management With Center for Technology and Aging’s New Online mHealth Toolkit

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Text Messaging Newsbyte: Treating Asthma With Text Messages And Autism With Social Media, Mobile App Helps in Weight Loss Program, Using Mobile Phone Technology to Ensure Fair Voting in the Middle East

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By using a simple text reminder, asthma sufferers are reminded to take care of their condition and take any medicine if they need it. This little reminder also makes sure that anybody with asthma isn’t left without their inhaler. Social media is also being used to help those with autism by slowly integrating them into social environments through controlled social websites like groupMe. This is proving to be very handy for those with types of autism like Asperger’s syndrome that limits a persons wants or needs to involved socially.

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