mHealth is here to stay. However, along with some caregivers, many patients may be hesitant to jump on the band wagon because they aren’t comfortable with handling health matters virtually. Bryce Williams, director of health and wellness at Blue Shield of California, was recently featured on a panel concerning patient engagement in mHealth. During the panel, he discussed 10 steps that should be taken to help with engaging patients in mobile and online health and wellness programs. These steps were: 7. Don’t rely on financial and other extrinsic incentives.
- Don’t be academic
- Make it fun
- Don’t build walled gardens
- Use trusted recruiters
- Encourage health competition
- Create a clear objective
- Don’t rely on financial and other extrinsic incentives
- Change it up
- Learn from the winners
- Measure it
These are some great ideas. Such as, beginning with a goal of 10,000 feet a day, and then changing that goal to 15,000. People tend to like a challenge, and if they become to accustom to a certain task, they may stop doing it. I think what is most important is making mHealth apps easy to use and fun. If something takes an hour to get into, freezes up the all the time, and then has no “fun” quality to it, who is going to use it? Probably no one. While it seems like people in their teens and twenties probably had social media and technology programmed in their brains from the time they were born, older generations may have a hard time using mHealth, so it needs to be easy to use.
What do you think about this? Should more companies be aware of the consumer and their needs when creating mobile platforms for patients to use?
More information on these steps can be found at this article on FierceMobileHealthCare.com