Older patients want training in use of mobile monitoring devices, says survey

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According to a new study published by Linkage Technology, four out of 10 Americans between the ages of 65 and 100 who are considering using mobile monitoring devices would like their physician to demonstrate how to use the technology appropriately, reports Information Week.

An additional 29 percent said they would like to receive training on the correct use of mobile monitoring devices from family and friends.

The survey polled more than 1,780 seniors and revealed that 41 percent of respondents owned a PC and 61 percent possessed a cellphone. Access to other contemporary communication technology, such as the internet, was more limited, with a little over one-third indicating they were online. Only 8 percent said they owned a laptop, and just 3 percent owned a smartphone.

Mobile monitoring device ownership was slightly higher, with 40 percent of respondents indicating they owned a blood pressure cuff, and 17 percent owning a diabetes monitoring device. However, officials from Linkage Technology said use of such devices for reporting the status of patient medical conditions was lacking.

“In the survey nobody was using health monitoring devices that transmit health data to physicians,” Laurie Orlov, founder and principal analyst at Aging in Place Technology Watch, told the news source. “The number-one person elderly people want to train them on these technologies is the doctor – the least likely person to train them.”

In addition to a lack of knowledge of how to use the devices, many seniors indicated that the cost of purchasing mobile monitoring technology was prohibitive.

Despite these barriers, mobile monitoring systems are becoming increasingly important in healthcare IT.

A recent study on the effectiveness of the world’s first electrocardiogram (ECG) application for smartphones was announced at the recent American College of Cardiology 61st Annual Scientific Sessions. The device, known as the AliveCor smartphone ECG, monitors changes to patients’ heart rates without the use of wires, and will be available for iOS and Android later this year.