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Online Health Technologies and Mobile Devices: Attitudes, Needs, and Future
Advances in mobile technology constitute a promising and evolving trend that enables better access to health care especially for the elderly, disabled, and chronically ill. It overcomes geographical, temporal, and organizational barriers at low and affordable costs. The aim of the study was to evaluate the needs and expectations of Polish citizens and their attitudes toward mobile health (mHealth) services using mobile phones and communication devices in medical care and also to evaluate the sociodemographic factors affecting such behavioral processes. A total of 1000 adults were selected from the Polish population by random sampling. The assessment was made with the use of computer-assisted telephone interview (CATI). Approximately 78% of the study participants were proficient mobile phone users with a predominance of young people. Forty-seven percent of them expressed the desire to obtain information about their health via their mobile phone if they had the opportunity to do so. Important factors associated with the aforementioned statement included younger age, being still in education, or unemployed. Among the mHealth supporters, the vast majority of people (84%) would like to receive SMS (short message service) reminders for appointments and prescribed medicines. Other favorable mHealth activities were e-registration (77.9%), viewing test results online (80.6%), or receiving basic medical recommendations (75.7%). Only 30% of the respondents had a positive attitude toward teleconsultation, while 17.8% of them were willing to pay for this option. Further research on emerging new and beneficial mHealth solutions needs to be conducted.
KeywordsE-health Medical informatics Mobile health service Mobile phone Sociodemographic factors
This article forms a part of national surveys on the use of the Internet and e-health services in Poland conducted by Wroclaw Medical University in Wroclaw, Poland (statutory activity ST.C290.17.040/2017). The authors would like to thank Tomasz Kujawa for his methodological and statistical help.
Conflicts of Interest
The authors declare no conflicts of interest in relation to this article.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Respondents were provided with comprehensive information on the objectives and scope of survey and gave their informed consent. The survey was approved by the Bioethics Committee of Wroclaw Medical University in Poland.
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