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Chronic kidney disease patients’ views of readiness and ability to use mHealth apps

26 January 2023
Volume 32 · Issue 2


Background: The use of mobile health (mHealth) applications, which provide opportunities to improve health and lessen health inequalities, is increasing. Studies assessing the readiness and ability of patients in Malaysia with chronic kidney disease (CKD) to use mobile phone apps to manage their health are limited. Aims: This study aimed to assess the readiness and ability to use mHealth apps among patients with CKD in north-east Peninsular Malaysia. Methods: A cross-sectional study was undertaken, using a convenience sample of 100 CKD medical inpatients in a tertiary teaching hospital. A structured, self-administered questionnaire on readiness and ability to use mHealth apps was adopted. Findings: Nearly one in five patients (18%) actively used health applications. More than three-quarters (77%) were aged >40 years and a similar proportion were ready to use mHealth apps (78%), and nearly half (46%) were confident about connecting their device to wifi. There was a correlation between ability and readiness to use mHealth apps (r=0.4; P<0.05). Conclusions: Fewer than half of participants had a good command of mHealth applications. Therefore, support on the use of these apps is needed, and healthcare managers need to consider this.

Mobile phone apps for health knowledge and management (mHealth) are becoming more integrated into people's everyday lives worldwide, potentially enhancing health care, reducing inequalities and optimising health systems. mHealth knowledge concerns being ‘aware or unaware of mHealth technology’ and the use of mobile devices to assess healthcare, including treatment, services, emergency medical response and education (Seidenberg et al, 2012). mHealth presents intriguing options for delivering services that may enhance overall healthcare quality (Vo et al, 2019).

mHealth applications and their use worldwide are projected to grow (Vo et al, 2019; Sharma et al, 2022).

Mobile application technology has aided tremendously in time management, convenience and cost savings for healthcare, in areas from hospital visits to individual patient consultations with a practitioner. With the advance of mobile technology and the growing number of mobile users, new opportunities for mobile inpatient care, such as mHealth applications, have arisen (Sharma et al, 2022).

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