Mobile apps and health monitoring for chronic diseases

Mobile apps and health monitoring for chronic diseases
Mobile apps and health monitoring for chronic diseases

Empowered patients: Mobile apps and health management for chronic diseases

Dr. Carla Rimassa Vásquez, researcher at the Institute of Technology for Innovation in Health and Wellbeing (ITiSB) of the Faculty of Engineering at the Andrés Bello University.

The number of people of different ages with chronic conditions is increasing every day. The main ones are cardiovascular diseases, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes. The factors that influence their increase are diverse, including population ageing, urbanisation and sociodemographic changes. Chronic conditions correspond to long-term conditions that usually progress slowly, and whose health care is mainly provided in Primary Health Care, showing a saturation of services and a high demand for health professionals that affects the quality of care. In this sense, the low proportion of people with arterial hypertension and type 2 diabetes mellitus who manage to stabilize their levels after control treatments (glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c)) is worrying. Thus, eHealth is shown as a hopeful and viable alternative to support this objective remotely, bringing primary health care closer to the daily life activities of individuals with chronic conditions and their families. Among the eHealth are mobile applications (Apps) for diabetes control, which correspond to mobile phone software that accepts data (transmitted or manual input) and provides feedback to patients on better management (automated or by a health professional). Among the available Apps (reported in scientific publications) the components that predominate in the design are those oriented to monitoring blood sugar, healthy diet, physical activity, drug reminders, recording of weight, waist circumference, blood pressure and heart rate, education through videos, recordings or messages. In this way, mobile applications can be a support to help patients with chronic conditions improve their self-management or empowerment in controlling their health.

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