Physician attitudes towards—and adoption of—mobile health

Tracie Kong, Mary Morgan Scott, Yang Li, Cynthia Wichelman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective: Smartphone apps and mobile devices are an emerging method of healthcare data collection. This study sought to understand how physicians currently view mobile health (mHealth) technologies and use them in patient care. Methods: A total of 186 physicians affiliated with Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, USA completed a survey in 2016 regarding their current implementation of mHealth technologies for patient care and support for further development. Results: More than half of respondents were willing to discuss health apps and mobile devices with patients. However, most were not currently recommending them to patients. Apps/devices that encouraged a healthy diet and weight or tracked heart rate received the highest satisfaction ratings. Apps/devices that accessed the EMR (electronic medical record) remotely, provided medication reminders, or enrolled research subjects garnered the most interest despite respondents lacking prior experience. A majority agreed that collected biometrics are useful for promoting a healthy lifestyle (68%), tracking medical treatment (64%), or conducting research (56%); and agreed that proof of accuracy and precision (81%) and the efficient integration of collected data (68%) are necessary improvements. Uploading data automatically and updating physicians in real-time was the most preferred method of data integration into the EMR. Conclusions: Physicians show interest in using mHealth technologies for patient care but have limited experience, usually with those specific to their specialties. Proof of quality and a method to integrate data into the EMR are necessary for a mainstream role in healthcare.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDigital Health
StatePublished - 2020


  • Mobile health
  • digital medicine
  • medical devices
  • smartphone apps

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