Nursing Education and Impact Mobile Technology

Afza.Malik GDA

 Mobile Technology and Nursing Education

Nursing Education and Impact Mobile Technology

Whats Is Mobile Technology,Mobile Technology In Health Care,Impact of Mobile Technology In Nursing Education and Health Care,Responsibilities of Nursing Educators

Whats Is Mobile Technology

    Mobile technology refers to any computing device that is portable and can access wireless local area networks (WIFI) The most common forms of mobile technologies are tablets, smartphones, and reading devices Mobile technologies are continuously evolving and some are now small enough to wear in a watchband. The rapid proliferation of mobile technology and their capacity coupled with high-speed WIFI creates opportunities in health care.

Mobile Technology In Health Care

    Mobile technology devices used in health are often referred to as mobile health or health. Mobile health is used to advance life sciences research, health professions education, public health, and patient care (American Medical Informatics Association (AMIAL 2011). The first generations of mobile technology, such as personal digital assistants, were used by health care providers to access health information. As mobile technologies penetrated the general public with easy-to-use functions and interface, mobile health became a central mechanism for consumers to access information and health care teams to communicate and collaborate. 

    In the most technology-rich environments, mHealth is used to connect patients and providers in a variety of ways: social media, patient monitoring, disease management, and wellness (American Nursing Informatics Association [ANIA], 2014). Today, mHealth applications for tablets and smartphones are exploding in numbers . There are more than 5,000 mobile health applications (Atienza & Patrick, 2011), and 6 billion users of mobile technology worldwide. This accounts for nearly 87% of the global population ( Labrique . Vasudevan , Chang. & Mehl , 2013). This is astounding when one considers the infrastructure required to support wireless networks. 

    Mobile health technologies use conventional methods to access and retrieve (push and pull) data through secure networks, but mHealth applications are also using more novel approaches to “push and pull” data by incorporating biosensors that collect and gather information about a consumer's health practices. For example, pedometers are now available that measure distances walked, the number of calories burned. and even sleep habits. These data can be synchronized to a repository monitored by health care providers.

    A growing number of studies are examining the impact of mobile health on patient outcomes such as patient adherence to treatments, attrition to follow-up visits, patient interaction with health care providers, and access to information on demand. Many of these studies report promising results (Ben- Zeev , Drake, Corrigan, Rotondi , & Nilsen , 2012; Burke et al, 2012; Petrie, Perry, Broadbent, & Weinman , 2012).

Impact of Mobile Technology In Nursing Education and Health Care

    Mobile technology is advancing very rapidly; thus, the limitations of mobile technology and associated functions are not yet realized. To date, the most common ways mobile technology supports health care are through:

(a) access to health data within and across institutions

(b) patient monitoring

(c) health and wellness support

(d) treatment adherence

(e) communication between providers and with patients. 

    The ease of use, convenience, portability, and advanced functions of mHealth contribute to their growing popularity. In fact, consumer based mHealth is growing more rapidly than our ability to evaluate the tools. Standards and evaluation criteria for mobile health applications are priorities among federal agencies, mobile health leaders, and health information technology professional organizations (Barton, 2012 US Food and Drug Administration JUSFDAL, 2013)

    Attempts at creating standards, however, have fallen short. One of the first known standards for Internet-based health content is the Health on the Net Foundation or HON Code. The foundation offers certification, a HONCode Seal, to those health-related sites that follow the recommended guidelines and criteria developed by the foundation. The standards still exist, but many sites that are reputable and offer scientific evidence on health topics are not HONCode certified (Health on the Net Foundation [ HONCode ]. 2014) Happtique , a for-profit organization designed to oversee health applications. developed standards for mobile health applications that were released in spring 2013. 

    The purpose of these standards is to help regulate products, establish criteria for the becoming mobile health application industry, and offer certification to mHealth devices and applications. The standards and certification have failed performance and security requirements, forcing Happtique to suspend their certification program ( Misra , 2014). The lessons for health care providers, including nurses, are the responsibility of establishing standards and ensuring the quality and accuracy of information in applications falls on all health care workers. 

    No one organization, industry, foundation, or regulatory body can or will guarantee the quality of health-related content and applications. To further advance the quality and validity of mHealth , nurses must engage in meaningful discussions with key organizations and regulatory bodies, direct or participate in research that measures patient outcomes, and partner with mobile health developers as content experts. All mobile technology and applications for health must be validated for quality and accuracy of content and based on evidence that provides services to patients and those in the health care industry. Ensuring quality is our collective responsibility as health care providers and consumers.

Responsibilities of Nursing Educators

    Nurse educators have the unique opportunity to influence the mobile health industry through today's nursing students who are tomorrow's nurse leaders. Nursing students without knowledge about mHealth and associated tools cannot be informants to patients. This is a paramount role of the nurse since the general public consumes more mHealth and associated applications than health care providers. It is neither feasible nor possible for any one nurse or nurse educator to know the gamut of mHealth , but it is plausible to have a basic understanding of technologies that support health (smartphones, tablets, biosensors, cloud-based content sharing), industry standards and guidelines, and how to determine the credibility and quality of content. 

    Further, practicing nurses, nursing students, and nursing educators must be aware of the limitations of mHealth tools, the proliferation of these tools without evidence and current standards, and the easy access to these tools by health care providers and health consumers. While one cannot be an expert on all topics and their associated mHealth applications, one must know how to determine the credibility of mHealth tools and applications and how to advise consumers.

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