Patient education has generally been provided during in-person clinical visits. While this practice is unlike to fade away completely, additional patient education materials have evolved as technology has become a bigger part of daily life. Mobile applications that focus on patient education can be effective tools to incorporate into clinical practice, so what exactly should clinicians consider before doing so? Equiva, a health relationship management platform, recently released a whitepaper addressing that question and highlighted 5 key points that clincians may consider when providing patient education via mobile apps. Details in the slides below.
When deciding whether to expand patient education offers via a mobile app, consider the app's health literacy, breadth and depth of patient education materials, and sensitivity to patients' multilingual, culture, and other needs.
Aligning teaching materials that uniquely meet the needs of not only patients, but also clinical and leadership teams is critical. Consider if the app is flexible enough to mix and match materials from your preferred patient education sources, comprehensive enough to meet varying population needs, and fluid enough to expand to new realms of gamification and the like.
A 2018 survey3 of nearly 600 health care organizations in US, UK, France, Germany, and Netherlands found 90% had implemented or were planning to implement a mobile device initiative to improve patient care, facilitate care team efficiencies, or both. Of these, 96% reported an increase in patient experience scores.
A 2020 study found that patients’ use of smartphones improved surgical education. The results suggested that applications’ ease of use helped improve patient satisfaction which, in turn, led to decreased readmissions and emergency department visits.4
Typical costs for developing any type of app (not just for health care) can range from $30 000-$40 000 and get as high as $400 000. Evolution of “hybrid” smartphones has made apps more easily accessible via app stores and able to accommodate numerous different formats (eg, PDFs, videos); the technology also makes it possible to tailor content to specific patient needs (eg, care plan requirements, preferred language).
Health care professionals are increasingly being asked to ensure patients receive materials that align to the organizations branding and messaging. Consider a solution that is not overly rigid, such as including a corporate logo.
1. Kim C, Prabhu AV, Hansberry DR, et al. Digital era of mobile communications and smartphones: A novel analysis of patient comprehension of cancer-related information available through mobile applications. Cancer Invest. 2019;37:127-133.
2. Frid G, Bogaert K, Chen KT. Mobile health apps for pregnant women: Systematic search, evaluation, and analysis of features. J Med Internet Res. 2021;23(10):e25667.
3. Jamf. 2018 survey: The impact of mobile devices on hospital patient satisfaction. https://resources.jamf.com/documents/books/2018-healthcare-survey.pdf. Accessed April 6, 2022.
4. Morte K, Marenco C, Lammers D, et al. Utilization of mobile application improves perioperative education and patient satisfaction in general surgery patients. Am J Surg. 2021;221:788-792.