Value-Based Care Increasing the Popularity of mHealth

Use of mHealth grows as healthcare stakeholders invest in technological solutions.

Mobile health (mHealth) has become increasingly popular as the healthcare world moves towards value and away from volume, according to a new study by GBI Research. mHealth can connect patients with numerous healthcare services, while also collecting valuable data.

This approach has already had an impact on the healthcare industry and numerous organizations are making investments in the technology. mHealth can also be used to encourage patients to adhere to their treatments, providing physicians with an additional way to communicate beneficial behaviors to their patients.

The new study found that advances in mobile technology, the expansion of communication, and the reduction in the cost of wireless technology have been involved with making the technology popular.

“These technologies have huge potential to bridge the gap within existing healthcare systems, offering an alternative form of healthcare communication and treatment at a distance,” said Rodrigo Gutierrez Gamboa, managing analyst for GBI Research.

mHealth can benefit both patients and healthcare providers, as the solutions are low-cost and reduce the need for traveling to in-office appointments. These factors make seeking healthcare easier for patients who may be homebound or do not have a clinic nearby.

The platform can also be harnessed in developing countries to connect individuals with a healthcare provider in another part of the world. This will allow patients to receive care they may not have otherwise received.

“As the uptake of mHealth technologies increases, support from healthcare professionals, reimbursement entities, and government agencies will also increase as the body of literature documenting the wide range of mHealth’s benefits continues to grow,” Gutierrez Gamboa said. “Furthermore, the continued acceleration of mobile penetration at a global level will continue to make mHealth services and solutions possible, even in the most remote areas.”

The most important driver behind mHealth is the growing need for cost-effective ways to provide healthcare, according to GBI.

Another important driver is the shift towards value-based care and reimbursement. More than ever before, healthcare providers are interested in helping patients achieve optimal outcomes rather than being incentivized to order more tests or perform more services.

The report also indicated that mHealth solutions can provide physicians with greater support, as the technology can track patient outcomes in real-time, according to GBI. Without mHealth applications, physicians may rely on patients recounting symptoms or other data after the fact, which may lead to inaccuracies.

“These 3 factors are directly linked to the significant challenge governments in all key markets are facing regarding the rising cost of providing healthcare,” Gutierrez Gamboa concluded. “Insurance companies and national healthcare agencies are increasingly demanding more evidence for the cost-effectiveness of treatments. mHealth technologies can significantly lower the cost of healthcare, starting with the ability to provide medical consultations at a distance.”