Barriers and benefits to using mobile health technology after operation: A qualitative study

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Abstract

Background:

Recently, mobile health technology has emerged as a promising avenue for improving physician-patient communication and patient outcomes. The objective of our study was to determine the public's perception of barriers and benefits to using mobile health technology technologies to enhance recovery after operation.

Methods:

We used the Empire State Poll to ask 2 open-ended questions to 800 participants assessing their perceptions of benefits and barriers to use mobile health technology after operation. All responses were coded independently, and any discrepancies were resolved by consensus. We used grounded theory to allow themes to arise from the codes. Interrater reliability was calculated using Cohen's Kappa.

Results:

Participants identified a range of possible barriers to using mobile health technology apps after operation including: protecting personal health information, technology effectiveness and failure, preference for face-to-face interaction with their surgeon, level of effort required, and ability of the older adults to navigate mobile health technology. Participants identified multiple possible benefits including: better monitoring, improved communication with their surgeon, minimizing follow-up visits, improved convenience, and increased patient knowledge. In the study, 15% of all respondents stated there were no barriers whereas 6% stated there were no benefits.

Conclusion:

Participants were receptive to the many potential benefits of this technology to enhance not only their relationships with providers and the convenience of access, but also their health outcomes. We must address participants concerns about data security and their fears of losing a personal relationship with their doctor.

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