Adults living with kidney failure are receptive to using mobile devices to help with their care, according to a new study.
Mobile health can provide many benefits for patients, especially for those whose care is complicated and who have dietary restrictions, researchers said. Whether people on dialysis are ready to incorporate mobile technology in their care would be a limiting factor.
"Importantly, mobile technology has been used to improve treatment adherence; address patient-reported symptoms in real time; improve nutrition, activity and mental health; assist in empowering patients to reverse the predominantly one-way care delivery system, and place the patient at the center of their own health care," said study lead author Dr. Wael Hussein of Satellite Healthcare in San Jose, Calif.
Satellite Healthcare surveyed 949 dialysis patients. About 8 of 10 owned smartphones or other internet-capable devices such as tablets. About 72% said they use the internet, and 70% had intermediate or advanced proficiency in mobile health.
The main reasons for using mobile health were making appointments, communicating with health care personnel and obtaining laboratory results. The main concern with mobile health was privacy and security, according to the study.
Older patients, those who were Hispanic, and those with less than a college education were less adept with mobile health. Employment was associated with higher proficiency.
The findings were published in the December issue of CJASN, the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.
"Mobile health can be utilized to bring along a number of interventions that can help people on dialysis manage their health and improve independence," Hussein said in a journal news release. He added that the findings should encourage health care providers and technology developers to invest in mobile health innovations.
In an accompanying editorial, a patient who has lived with kidney disease for 18 years noted that "integrating mobile health into the kidney health care system will empower patients to embrace taking charge of their health."
The National Kidney Foundation offers resources and information on kidney disease.
SOURCE: American Society of Nephrology, news release, Dec. 22, 2020