A new study has shown the value of mobile communications in the care of patients with chronic kidney disease. Adults who have the condition are receptive to receiving text messages to remind them about what they need to do to care for themselves.
Kidneys filter the blood of wastes and toxins, allowing them to be expelled through urine. If the kidneys operate at reduced function or fail completely, the patient has CKD. There is no cure for CKD, except for transplant. It affects 10% to 13% of the adult population.
Those with the condition are at a higher risk of cardiovascular complications and premature death. Researchers say utilizing mobile health can help patients adhere to treatment, address patient related symptoms, improve nutrition, activity and mental health.
It can help empower the patient in a system which is normally one way and put them at the center of their own health care. Researchers surveyed 949 dialysis patients, finding 8 out of 10 of them had mobile devices or other internet-capable devices. 72% of these patients reported they used the internet and 70% had intermediate or advanced proficiency when it came to utilizing mobile healthcare.
Mobile health was primarily used for making appointments, communicating with healthcare personnel and getting laboratory results. Older patients, Hispanic, and those with an education below a college degree had difficulties utilizing mobile care. Those employed tended to have a higher proficiency. The largest concern with mobile health was privacy and security. Future outreach should therefore center around helping those demographics better understand how to use mobile health tools. For more information about the tools being used to help the kidney patient population be sure to tune in to our latest video on the official Healthy Kidney Inc. YouTube.