Improving Chronic Disease Outcomes with mHealth

More than 100 million people in the U.S. have at least one chronic condition, and the number is growing.

More than 270 million people in the U.S. subscribe to wireless services, and the number is growing.

What if wireless technology could be used to remotely monitor chronic conditions and to remind patients to manage them effectively?

People with chronic conditions could enjoy better health and avoid preventable medical and hospital visits. And, because chronic diseases account for 75 percent the $2.3 trillion America spends on health care, we could begin to control runaway costs.

That's just one of the many possibilities of mHealth — the use of mobile technology to support health outcomes.

A widely cited study by Myer, Kobb and Ryan reported that home telemontoring, video visits and coordinated care helped reduce emergency room visits by 40 percent and hospital admissions by 63 percent among elderly veterans with a variety of chronic diseases.

It is estimated that if patients with congestive heart failure, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other chronic conditions agreed to have their doctors monitor them remotely and guide their self-care via mobile wireless applications, the result would be a $21.1 billion annual reduction in costs for emergency care, hospitalization and nursing home care.

As wireless technology continues to advance and its application to mHealth grows, the U.S. has an enormous opportunity to help its citizens better manage chronic disease and improve the effectiveness of our health-care system.

— Tom DeSanto

Sources: Information Week, MobiHealthNews,, Image: research2guidance

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