mHEALTH-INNOVATE (33) How do you use your phone to communicate with colleagues? (4)

21 April, 2022

Dear HIFA colleagues,

If your mobile phone broke down, would it make any difference to your ability to work? or to deliver care for your patients?

A few days ago HIFA noted a systematic review that looks specifically at the use of mobile phones to promote communication and management of care between healthcare professionals

I was really surprised to read among the key messages: "Mobile technologies may have little or no impact on healthcare workers' and participants' satisfaction, health status or well-being."

For me it is hard to imagine how health professionals can communicate with each other at distance *without* a mobile phone.

Looking again at the full text of the paper, the authors say "There was little evidence about healthcare providers' satisfaction with the intervention in the trials we identified, and although healthcare providers reported that mobile technologies allowed for care to be delivered more quickly and facilitated triage, one study reported that they were less confident in their diagnosis and management plans when using teledermatology, compared with face-to-face care". This implies that some (most?) of the studies were looking at specific mHealth interventions rather than general use of mibile phones.

I have invited the authors of the systematic review to join us. In the meantime, I look forward to your comments. If your mobile phone broke down in the morning, and you had to continue the rest of the day - or week - without it, then what difference would it make to your work and your ability to care for patients?


Best wishes, Neil

Joint Coordinator, HIFA mHEALTH-INNOVATE

Neil Pakenham-Walsh, Global Coordinator HIFA,

Global Healthcare Information Network: Working in official relations with WHO