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Mobile Health Application and e-Health Literacy: Opportunities and Concerns for Cancer Patients and Caregivers

  • Hyunmin Kim
  • Joy V. Goldsmith
  • Soham Sengupta
  • Asos Mahmood
  • M. Paige Powell
  • Jay Bhatt
  • Cyril F. Chang
  • Soumitra S. Bhuyan
Article

Abstract

Health literacy is critical for cancer patients as they must understand complex procedures or treatment options. Caregivers’ health literacy also plays a crucial role in caring for cancer patients. Low health literacy is associated with low adherence to medications, poor health status, and increased health care costs. There is a growing interest in the use of mobile health applications (apps) to improve health literacy. Mobile health apps can empower underserved cancer patients and their caregivers by providing features or functionalities to enhance interactive patient-provider communication and to understand medical information more readily. Despite the potentiality of improving health literacy through mobile health apps, there exist several related concerns: no equal access to mobile technology, no familiarity or knowledge of using mobile health apps, and privacy and security concerns. These elements should be taken into account for health policy making and mobile apps design and development. Importantly, mobile apps should be developed with the goal of achieving a high range of user access by considering all health literacy level and various cultural and linguistic needs.

Keywords

Mobile applications e-Health literacy Cancer Patients Caregivers Underserved populations 

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Copyright information

© American Association for Cancer Education 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hyunmin Kim
    • 1
  • Joy V. Goldsmith
    • 2
  • Soham Sengupta
    • 3
  • Asos Mahmood
    • 1
  • M. Paige Powell
    • 1
  • Jay Bhatt
    • 4
  • Cyril F. Chang
    • 5
    • 6
  • Soumitra S. Bhuyan
    • 1
    • 4
    • 6
  1. 1.Division of Health Systems Management and PolicyUniversity of Memphis School of Public HealthMemphisUSA
  2. 2.Department of CommunicationThe University of MemphisMemphisUSA
  3. 3.Department of Business Information and Technology, The Fogelman College of Business and EconomicsThe University of MemphisMemphisUSA
  4. 4.Health Research & Educational Trust, American Hospital AssociationChicagoUSA
  5. 5.Department of Economics, The Fogelman College of Business and EconomicsThe University of MemphisMemphisUSA
  6. 6.The Methodist and Le Bonheur Center for Healthcare EconomicsMemphisUSA

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