Mobile devices offer an opportunity to improve care and reduce medical costs, according to a new report by the Brookings Institution, the Washington Post reports.
The report -- titled, "How Mobile Devices Are Transforming Healthcare" -- outlines some recent findings about the mobile health market.
The report noted that Brookings economist Robert Litan has found that the use of mobile health monitoring devices could reduce U.S. health care costs by about $197 billion over the next 25 years.
Darrell West -- author of the report, vice president and director of governance studies for Brookings and founding director of its Center for Technology Innovation -- said devices like "Gluco Phones" -- which monitors blood sugar levels -- could help patients take control of their care and decrease the burden on health care providers.
Mobile devices also could help reduce medical errors, according to the report.
The report cited research finding that 16% of nurses who rely on mobile devices said their device helped them avoid at least one medical error and 6% said their mobile device helped them avoid errors on several occasions.
Policy Changes Necessary
West said, "There needs to be policy changes that recognize the new landscape of medical care and the benefits of remote monitoring devices, preventive medicine, text reminders to take medication and electronic consultations."
He added that the health care system will need to reward physicians who adopt mobile technologies for the technology to become more widespread (Kolawole, Washington Post, 5/23).