During the House Veterans’ Affairs Health Subcommittee hearing on wireless health technologies this past week, Colonel Ronald Poropatich, M.D., Deputy Director, Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center U.S. Army Medical Research, provided fresh statistics about adoption of its mobile health application, mCare for wounded warriors.
"As of 1 June 2010, mCare has delivered over 18,500 messages to over 300 [warriors in transition]," Poropatich told the committee according to his prepared statement. "Sixty-three percent of this message activity is related to appointment reminders, which are sent to the patient 24 hours and 90 minutes prior to each scheduled clinical encounter. The system has demonstrated improvement in appointment attendance rates. Seventeen percent of the message activity is attributed to health and wellness tips, which are customized to the needs of each patient from a library of validated resources within the mCare application. Twelve percent of the message traffic is related to unit specific announcements."
Interestingly, acceptance of the mobile health offering, which is powered by Diversinet, spans various age groups:
"There has been no appreciable age bias to the acceptance of mCare by patients; there are as many users over the age of 30 participating in the project as are within the 18-30 age groups," Poropatich stated. "Additionally, 84 percent of the mCare patient participants are enlisted service members; 16 percent are officers. More than 90 percent of the volunteer users surveyed found the mCare application on their phone easy to use or somewhat easy to use. Nearly 75 percent of the users surveyed preferred to receive contact through mCare more than once a week, and 65 percent reported that mCare improved their communications with their unit."
Poropatich explained that the initial rollout of mCare has been to to patients assigned to five sites in Alabama; Florida; Illinois; Massachusetts; and Virginia that cover 26 states. Four additional sites for mCare are currently under consideration.
For more, read Poporatich's full testimony here