Student Dissertation

Agency : Mobile Healthcare; Self Healthcare Delivery; Mobile Health App; mHealth; Market of mHealth

Objective : a. To study factors related to use of mobile healthcare applications. b. To study perception of the users related to the factors’ usefulness in self-healthcare using mobile healthcare applications. c. To identify the barriers faced by the users while using mobile healthcare application for self-healthcare.

Background : Mobile apps are enhancing overall consumer engagement in health care by improving the different aspects related to healthcare field like: flow of information; lowering costs through better decision-making, decrease in patient visits, greater adherence to treatment plans; improving satisfaction with the service experience; proper health outcome by keeping the track of self-health, fitness, diet etc. Technology is changing the healthcare industry and it is growing at a rapid pace of 17 percent per year and expected to expand $160 billion by 2017. A study of How Mobile Devices are Transforming Healthcare by Darrell West found that mobile application improves user’s productivity in four ways: 1) by reducing unproductive travel time, 2) by improving planning, 3) by enabling faster decision-making, and 4) by improving communications. There was a national survey in which multiple people responded that¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬ how they want the mobile app and technology to be useful in their daily life; and the results show that 77 percent of the respondents would like to get reminders for a visit, followed by 75 percent who want to schedule a doctor’s visit, and 74 percent would like to communicate directly with their doctor, for all this they prefer using different mobile health app or mobile devices.

Methodology : A concurrent and descriptive study was conducted during February to May 2017. Users of Mobile app were approached in person or through voting email for data collection from three IT companies in Bangalore. A self-administered tool (having 15-item) either in the form of paper or Google Docs form was distributed to 112 respondents who have shown their willingness to participate.

Findings : The results revealed that people were using multiple types of health apps. It was convenient for most of the respondents to manage their health through app. There were various features showing positive responses. However, along with that, they perceived that some additional features in the app to make the process effortless and easy. They also perceived that some improvement in features are required like: off line app, interconnectivity with other apps and providers, user-friendly navigation, data sharing, privacy and confidentiality of the data, data storage, etc. People were also facing few barriers like navigation layout in their app.

Recommendations : After reviewing the literature, four factors (functionality, usability, information management and engagement) were studied under the study. The respondents were using multiple types of health apps. They perceived that there is a requirement of an all-in-one App, with some additional features like, automation, user friendly navigation, timely reminder, graphical representation of results, sharing, and interconnectivity, motivation, etc, to make the process effortless and easy. They also perceived that some modifications are useful like off-line app, interconnectivity, user-friendly navigation, layout, pop up messages, data sharing, privacy and confidentiality of the data, and data storage. They identified barriers in their app like navigation layout and language.