Mobile Health (mHealth) Applications and Self Healthcare Management: Willingness of Female Patients Living in Rural Areas to Static Mobile Apps
The objective of this research is to assess the attitudes and preferences of female patients living in rural areas regarding various functionalities a mobile app can play. I classified mobile app functionalities into two major categories of static and dynamic. Static functionalities are those with whom a patient develops one-way, top-down interactions, such as receiving drug information from hospital staffs. Interactive functionalities develop mutual and engaging interactions among patients, physicians, and health staffs. This is a descriptive, cross-sectional study collected data from 460 female patients visited rural “Health Houses” in provinces of Ardabil and Isfahan. The respondents were selected randomly. The data collection tool is a questionnaire designed by the author. Validity (content and form) and reliability (Spearman–Brown with r = 0.83) includes two categories of questions: background and questions regarding the role of mobile information-communication apps. Data were analyzed by SPSS software. This research shows that the patients prefer a mobile health app that develops a static interaction between themselves and their physician or other health staffs. In general, patients have medium trust to mobile apps, and they prefer to use mobile apps developed and run by a clinic or a hospital so that they can receive health information, medical bills and the results of their medical tests. They showed little tendency to interact with other patients, physicians, and health staffs through a mobile app. They prefer face to face interactions.
KeywordsmHealth applications Self-healthcare management Telemedicine in rural areas Static mobile apps Dynamic mobile apps
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