Student Dissertation

Agency : mHealth; Hospital Settings; KAP; Knowledge Attitude and Practice; Mobile Health; Healthcare Applications; Mobile Medical Devices

Objective : To understand the mHealth applications and medical mobile devices used in an Indian and Global scenario. To identify the awareness and attitude of healthcare professionals on the use of healthcare applications and mobile medical devices. Also, to determine the market and challenges of implementing mHealth.

Background : Mobile health, also known as mHealth is considered as one of the biggest breakthrough in the field of new emerging technologies. The ubiquity of mobile technology offers encouraging solutions to the era of digitally empowered patients and doctors. Physicians and the nurses can easily communicate with their patients and colleagues without getting tethered to their offices. This ease of convenience allows them to be more fruitful while providing better care to their patients.

Methodology : The study design was a descriptive cross-sectional study where non-probability purposive sampling method was used. The duration of the study was three months where in total of 139 respondents more taken which included 52 doctors and 87 nurses who were interviewed by conducting face-to-face interviews as well as through emails by using a semi-structured questionnaire consisting of 16 questions.

Findings : The results were analysed and it was found that the knowledge amongst doctors and nurses about mHealth applications and mobile medical devices for quality improvement was found to be average but the understanding of the various mobile medical devices and health applications along with its safety and privacy amongst doctors and nurses was found to be moderate. The awareness of the healthcare applications amongst the doctors was to be more than the medical mobile devices but the need felt by them is partially high as well as moderate. 61 % (76) of the study group were using some kind of mobile medical devices or healthcare applications in their work setting while 51% (63) of the study group were not using the same.

Recommendations : Since only about 40% of both the doctors and nurses received the training for the mHealth usage, so there was a need for strong education and training among them so as to develop skills for using mHealth technology more effectively. And, also developing hospital specific branded applications which can be used by both physicians and nurses and also evaluation of the same by developing a certification system for these medical applications is needed.

Although the healthcare applications and medical devices provides the healthcare professionals with so many benefits, they are currently used without having a proper understanding of the associated benefits and risks. Certain barriers and gaps if addressed then with time the mHealth will be used by all individuals regardless of their qualification level or social classes.