M-Health Monitor: Evidence on Effects of Mobile Health Technology, January 2016

Here, we summarise the studies on the use of mobile health technology (m-Health) that were indexed in PubMed in January 2016.

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 January 2016 reporting results of studies evaluating m-Health technologies.

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

Key studies this month:

  • A systematic review concluded that text messaging probably improves diabetes self-management, weight loss, physical activity, smoking cessation, adherence to antiretroviral therapy for HIV, but disparate studies mean the best approaches are unclear Hall and colleagues 2015(external link)
  • A systematic review found that telemedicine interventions reduce mortality and hospitalisation rates in adults with heart failure Kotb and colleagues 2015 (external link)
  • A systematic review found that telemonitoring generally improved quality of life and reduced costs in adults with hypertension Omboni 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
General population Systematic review of Mobile text messaging for health improvement Multiple Some evidence of efficacy for diabetes self-management, weight loss, physical activity, smoking cessation, adherence to antiretroviral therapy for HIV Yes Hall and colleagues 2015(external link)
Blind running athletes Mobile electromagnetic guiding system Visual impairment Development of a functioning unit is described No Pieralisi and colleagures 2015(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
Review of 30 RCTs of 10,193 adults with heart failure Telemedicine interventions versus usual care Heart failure Network meta-analysis concluded lower mortality and hospitalisation rates with structured telephone support and telemnonitoring, reduced hospital admissions with remote ECG monitoring. Yes Kotb and colleagues 2015(external link)
331 US adults with heart failure and their caregivers standard m-health weekly interactive voice response calls versus m-health + CPinteractive calls as before plus automated email to caregiver Heart failure After 12 months, m-health +CP group reported fewer symptoms, lower depression scores, increased adherence with medication and caregiver communication, but no difference in quality of life Yes Piette and colleagues 2015 (external link)
Australian adults with heart disease in urban and rural settings pedometer-based telephone coaching for physical activity or for healthy weight Heart disease Economic evaluation concluded the healthy weight intervention was more cost-effective than the physical activity intervention Yes Sangster and colleagues 2015 (external link)
Review of studies of adults with hypertension Telemedicine interventions especially telemonitoring versus usual care Hypertension Most studies found that telemonitoring reduced blood pressure, improved quality of life and reduced medical costs, with good satisfaction ratings Yes Omboni and colleagues 2015(external link)
99 US adults with no access to formal care, less than 6 months after a stroke Home-based robot-assisted telerehabilitationversus home exercise program Depression after stroke After 8 weeks, both groups had improved depression scores, no comparison reported between groups Yes Linder and colleagues 2015(external link)
251 caregivers of adults with dementia in the Netherlands Internet intervention versus e-bulletins Dementia Significantly lower depression and anxiety in the internet intervention group at the end of the study Yes Blom and colleagues 2015(external link)
34 adults with depression in the Netherlands mHealth monitoring of affect, side effects, activities and stressors Depression Remote monitoring was sensitive to changes in mood and treatment effects over 18 weeks No van Os and colleagues 2014(external link)
Patients with bipolar disorder Web-based relapse prevention intervention Bipolar disorder Study protocol so no results: describes the development and feasibility-testing of the intervention No Lobban and colleagues 2015(external link)
Adolescents aged 12-18 years with OCD in Australia Web-based self-guided treatment Obsessive compulsive disorder Study protocol so no results yet: will assess OCD symptoms and self esteem, impact on families No Rees and colleagues 2015(external link)
Twitter analysis Twitter Sleep problems Analysis of tweets identified individuals reporting sleep problems, who posted less, had fewer friends, lower sentiment scores and posted more during typical sleep hours than those with no sleep problems No McIver and colleagues 2015(external link)
139 adults using CPAP for obstructive sleep apnoea in Spain Telemedicine with website and videoconferences versus face-to-face follow-up Obstructive sleep apnoea After 6 months, CPAP compliance, quality of life and sleep scores were similar across groups; telemedicine group had more contacts but lower costs so was cost-effective Yes Isetta and colleagues 2015 (external link)
Patients at 2 cancer centres in the US Web-based, automated self-reporting intervention versus web-based assessment Cancer Lower distress scores in the intervention group versus controls at the end of the study; use was greater in patients receiving radiotherapy than chemotherapy Yes Berry and colleagues 2015 (external link)
183 adults being screened for HIV in Uganda SMS texts with test results and transport reimbursement for those with positive results HIV infection Faster return to the clinic for treatment after the mHealth intervention began than before Yes Siedner 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
Over 7000 children from 12 countries Accelerometer worn 24 hours a day at the waist Obesity 9% of participants had implausibly high activity counts at some period, 90% of participants contributed useable data No Tudor-Locke and colleagues 2015(external link)
20 overweight and obese adolescents in the US Videoconferences 3 times a week with trainer and diet consultations Videoconferences 3 times a week with trainer and diet consultations 85% completed the program after 12 weeks, and had improved cardiovascular risk factors No Nourse and colleagues 2015(external link)
27 overweight and obese African-American college students Website promoting physical activity using social cognitive theory plus exercise sessions Obesity 56% participants completed the 6-month study, 80% of completers were satisfied with the site No Joseph and colleagues 2015 (external link)
83 African-American women at risk of HIV infection Web-based education program versus delayed HIV education control HIV prevention Greater use of condoms in the intervention group No Billings and colleagues 2015(external link)
People in Ghana at risk of lymphatic filariasis SMS tool facilitating trained community workers to report likely cases Lymphatic filariasis Community worker diagnoses had 90% positive predictive value for true detection of cases No Stanton and colleagues 2015
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