The applications and connected objects of health are still too little used by the chronically ill.They are not connected with E-health.
Studies follow each other and are similar. The use of digital technologies: internet, mobile applications or connected objects is still a minority in patients with chronic diseases.
This was revealed in the study “Impact of New Technologies on the Health and Quality of Life of People Living with Chronic Disease”
The study questionnaire was sent “to people living with chronic illness and their relatives through the member associations of the collective between February and July 2018”.
The study is based on the responses of 1,013 complete questionnaires completed online: 954 by respondents themselves-chronically ill- and 59 by relatives of chronically ill patients.
While the use of new technologies would be virtuous and allow chronic patients to improve their compliance, prevent the risks and complications of their disease and become “actors of their own health”, only 8.9% of respondents to the study said they were “hyperconnected”, that is, using the internet “4 and 6 times a week”, mobile applications “between 1 and 3 times a week” and connected objects “every day” ‘study.
The chronically “biconnected” patients, who use the internet and mobile applications 4 and 6 times a week but no connected objects, would be 19.3%. The hypoconnected, with 71.8%, are therefore the majority. These “use only the Internet, and this, very punctually: 1 to 3 times per month,” says the study.
“The difference in use is not explained by the age of diagnosis, almost 35% of hyper and hypoconnected being diagnosed for more than 10 years,” he said.
Against all expectations, there would also be “a slightly higher proportion of 50-70 year olds (40%) among the hyperconnected”.
“Undeniably, the internet represents many assets to the eyes of patients, this is particularly the case in terms of knowledge of the disease or the course of care,” says the study.
Thus, for 65% of the patients or relatives interviewed, “the internet makes it possible to better understand the treatment and to modify and adopt certain practices beneficial to health” and 63% said that the Internet brings them “a better knowledge of the care path” .
Even when it comes to feeling about the disease: 60% think that the use of the Internet (sites specialized in health, institutional sites, forums, social networks and sites of associations of chronic patients) allows them to “live better with chronic illness and out of isolation “and more than 50% believe that the use of the internet allows them to” reassure themselves and have greater control in the management of the disease “.
The perception of the beneficial effects of technological tools is logically “stronger” in hyperconnected people.
Nevertheless, the thorny question of the scientific reliability of online medical information is evoked by the chronic patients answering the questionnaire: 75.8% of respondents think that it is difficult to sort out to choose reliable information and 71% believe that The internet is likely to induce self-diagnosis errors.
The information coming from the patients’ associations thus benefits from a strong trust shared unanimously by all the chronically ill patients. The testimonials of other patients are the information most frequently sought (49.2% of responses “often” and “very often”).
Then come the symptoms and the pain, the treatments and the tips for living better with the disease. On the other hand, the least popular information concerns financial aid schemes (39.4% of respondents say they never look for them).
If “digital technologies effectively transform patients into empowerment,” they would also strengthen the patient-physician relationship.
“Patients who use technology more regularly are more active and inclined to ask their doctor for explanations and to share their personal opinions about their treatment with him (more than 80%),” reads the study.
Even though hyper-biconnected chronic patients have a sense of “treatment expertise, self-efficacy, and health-related motivation,” the role of the “knowledgeable” health professional remains central.
Contrasting use of connected apps and tools
Concerning the connected objects: those who use them “are more convinced of their assets”, one can read in the study.
If 48.7% of respondents believe that mobile applications “make it easier to live with chronic disease” and 46.7% have “better daily monitoring of the disease”, connected objects are rarely used among respondents in the study.
“Only 141 people (15.7%) reported using connected objects in relation to chronic disease,” the study notes.
However, the beneficial effects are widely pointed out. Thus, 52.3% of users believe that connected objects have helped them to modify their practices and to adopt some that are beneficial for their health, while 49.7% of users confirm that connected objects allow them to live better with the Internet. chronic disease.
Nearly 45% believe that this technology is a support aid to have greater control in the management of the disease and for better monitoring. Finally, for 43% of users, the use of connected objects can be reassuring.
The results show that connected watches and bracelets are the most used type of item (51.1%). Clothes, forks / plates and connected blood glucose meters collect the least number of polls with only 1% of chronic patients who approve them.
“Digital technologies thus seem to be able to embody an ally, rather than a threat, for the follow-up and care of these patients,” concludes the study, which encourages institutions and professionals to integrate digital technologies with care and treatment practices. the patients to seize it.
Read the study “Impact of new technologies on the health and quality of life of people living with chronic illness”