M-Health Monitor: Evidence on Effects of Mobile Health Technology, December 2015

Here, we summarise the studies on the use of mobile health technology (m-Health) that were indexed in PubMed in December 2015.

Mobile health technology includes the use of smartphones, telemonitoring, mobile apps and similar online tools and devices to educate patients, caregivers and health professionals about disease, to promote healthy living in the general public, and to provide an interactive platform to aid communication and feedback between individuals and those helping them manage their disease. Although evidence of clinical benefit from such technologies is relatively sparse, there is a growing evidence base on the topic.

In this blog, we are building on previous summaries of the evidence on this topic by reviewing papers indexed in PubMed in December 2015 reporting results of studies evaluating m-Health technologies.

Links to our previous summaries:
July 2015
August 2015
September 2015
October 2015
November 2015

Key studies this month:

  • Greater quality of life scores in psychosocial functioning for adults with rare neuromuscular diseases who participate in videoconferences with other sufferers over 3 months than with usual care Martinez and colleagues 2014(external link)
  • Faster initial return to work and greater remission of symptoms in adults on sick leave for mental illness who accessed a web-based intervention with education and email support than usual care, but no difference in time to fully return to work Volker and colleagues 2015 (external link)
  • No difference in smoking cessation rates as 12 months with integrated telemedicine counselling in primary care clinics versus standard telephone counselling, but greater costs with integrated intervention Richter and colleagues 2015(external link)

 

Papers looking at m-Health to promote healthy living in the general public

Population m-Health technology used Disease or problem Outcome Clinically important outcome relating to m-Health intervention? Reference
24 residents of 4 rural areas of New York, US Tablet-based app Healthy living Photographs and audio narratives were used to record features of the community that were assets or barriers to healthy eating and active life No Seguin and colleagues 2015(external link)
15 healthy young adults Actical activity monitor versus pedometers Activity assessment Actical validated as measurement tool for step counts and energy expenditure at walking speeds of 1.56 to 2 m/second, underestimates step counts at slower walking speeds No Johnson and colleagues 2015 (external link)
1,638 Dutch adults Online educational modules Healthy lifestyle Adherence with online modules was greater when fewer modules were recommended, and in older, female, unemployed or ill participants, and those in a relationship No Reinwand and colleagues 2015(external link)

Studies using m-Health to improve attendance at healthcare appointments or adherence with treatment

Population m-Health technology used Disease or problem Outcome Clinically important outcome relating to m-Health intervention? Reference
US adults with HIV infection with either previous poor clinic attendance or recent diagnosis of infection SMS text messaging 3 times a week HIV RCT protocol, no results yet: will evaluate impact on viral load and clinic attendance No Christopoulous and colleagues 2014(external link)

Studies using m-Health to improve disease management and self-management

Population m-Health technology used Disease or problem Outcome Clinically important outcome relating to m-Health intervention? Reference
Patients with COPD recently discharged from hospital Televideo consultations Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Patients had some reservations about use of telemonitoring but expected that new technology would increase their self-management abilities No Mathar and colleagues 2015 (external link)
45 adults with rare neuromuscular diseases Videoconference tele-assistance for social interaction for 3 months versus usual care Rare neuromuscular diseases Tele-assistance group showed improved quality of life scores on WHO-DAS III, SF-36 instruments for psychosocial variables compared with controls, with high satisfaction scores. Yes Martinez and colleagues 2014(external link)
10 adults with type 2 diabetes Telephone-based coaching Diabetes Coaching increased self-efficacy for the duration of the intervention, but no effect in the longer term No McGloin and colleagues 2015(external link)
300 adults with diabetes in India Smartphone fundus photography versus usual photography Diabetic retinopathy screening Smartphone sensitivity for diabetic retinopathy was 50%, specificity 94% versus standard photography; for vision-threatening retinopathy, sensitivity = 59%, specificity = 100% Yes Ryan and colleagues 2015(external link)
Lab samples from patients with HIV or hepatitis B infection Smartphone-based device with quantum dot barcode technology Viral infections The device can detect as few as 1,000 viral genetic copies/mL and allowed diagnosis of HIV or hepatitis B infection No Ming and colleagues 2015(external link)
220 employees on sick leave with mental disorders Smartphone-based device with quantum dot barcode technology Viral infections The device can detect as few as 1,000 viral genetic copies/mL and allowed diagnosis of HIV or hepatitis B infection No Ming and colleagues 2015(external link)
220 employees on sick leave with mental disorders Web-based intervention with education and email support from occupational physician versus usual care Return to work after mental illness Faster initial return to work with intervention and more achieved remission from symptoms at 9 months, but no difference in time before fully returned to work Yes Volker and colleagues 2015(external link)
31 healthcare providers in Taiwan Home telecare Any disease Main barriers to provision of home telecare in Taiwan include vague policy and regulations No Chiang and colleagues 2015(external link)

Studies using m-Health interventions to prevent or detect disease or injury

Population m-Health technology used Disease or problem Outcome Clinically important outcome relating to m-Health intervention? Reference
566 rural US adult smokers Telemedicine counselling integrated in primary care clinic versus standard telephone counselling Smoking cessation No difference in 12 month abstinence rates, greater costs with integrated intervention Yes Richter and colleagues 2015(external link)

Other studies and commentaries on the use of m-Health interventions

Population m-Health technology used Disease or problem Outcome Clinically important outcome relating to m-Health intervention? Reference
440 children in UK Accelerometer Healthy lifestyle Assessment of sedentary time depends on methods used to define non-wear time; most accurate assessment is with 20+ minutes of consecutive zeros No Janssen and colleagues 2015(external link)
« Back