White Paper Provides Strategies and an Actionable Roadmap for Healthcare Organizations Interested in Launching an mHealth Initiative into the Hispanic Community

HolaDoctor and 3Cinteractive have released a white paper on the promise and potential of using mobile communication for improving the health of U.S. Hispanics. The paper entitled, “Improving the Health of Hispanics Using Mobile Technology“, provides an overview of mobile health (mHealth) and why it is uniquely appropriate for the Hispanic population. The paper addresses the pros and cons of available mobile technologies, presents a case study of the ROI for improving medication adherence among Hispanic diabetics using mHealth, and provides a live, custom mobile demo.

During the past decade, the nation’s Hispanic population has grown to 50.5 million, making it the largest minority population in the U.S. and the country’s fastest growing demographic group. Hispanics have higher rates of certain costly chronic conditions (e.g. diabetes) and significantly lower medication adherence — a combination that is leading to increased medical costs for employers, health plans and governmental programs. In addition, the severe shortage of trained, culturally and linguistically competent healthcare providers represents a significant barrier to effectively serving this burgeoning population.

On the positive side, mobile technologies and health-related mobile initiatives have been embraced by Hispanics. Almost 90% of Hispanics own a mobile phone and 45% own a smartphone, versus 27% for whites. Nearly twice as many Hispanics have used their mobile device to look for health information and Hispanics are much more receptive to receiving health related text messaging than non-Hispanics. The white paper highlights the potential of mobile to help change behavior by delivering personalized, highly tailored communications via a platform widely used and highly trusted by Hispanics.

“Our paper provides an easy-to-understand update on the fast evolving field of mobile health and clear guidance on the innovative strategies that healthcare companies can use to impact behavior among Hispanic patients via mobile platforms,” said Dr. Dirk Schroeder, Executive Vice President at HolaDoctor, as well as a lead author of the paper. “Improved medication adherence through mobile-based communications personalized to the linguistic and cultural preferences of Hispanic patients, for example, will lead to better health outcomes and reductions in health care spending.”

“Public and private health plans are all looking for innovative solutions to reduce the incidence of diabetes and more effectively manage it. Absent innovations like mobile health, a third of the U.S. population born this past decade will have diabetes in 35 years. This is an exciting new approach to address the diabetes epidemic,” said Dr. Kenneth Thorpe, Professor of Health Policy at Emory University and co-author.

“Achieving appropriate access to care, diagnosis of disease, and successful intervention requires effective communication between providers and patients. To communicate effectively, we must meet people where they are, both culturally and physically,” added Barry Hix, General Manager of Healthcare Solutions at 3Cinteractive, and co-author of the paper. “There is great potential for healthcare leaders to improve clinical and economic outcomes by creating and sustaining a meaningful conversation with Hispanics via their mobile phone.”

“Improving the Health of Hispanics Using Mobile Technology,” (PDF) is available for download on 3Cinteractive’s website.

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