A Clinically Proven Concept in Health & Wellness Care

Cell phone and mobile device usage in the U.S. is at an all-time high. A 2007 survey found that 85% of respondents owned a mobile phone whereas only 71% of the same set of respondents owned a landline or home phone.

With the cell phone such an intrinsic part of modern everyday life, it’s interesting to note how 74% of younger adults aged 18-34 use their cell phones for much more than just calling. They’ll check their email, access the Internet, and regard their mobile device as something increasingly personal and intimate.
The cell phone is arguably the most ubiquitous of all technologies, keeping nearly nine out of ten adults connected in an ever-changing variety of ways.

One particularly interesting field of study in relation to mobile phones has been self-managed distant health-care. The last few years has seen a growing number of studies covering such areas as diabetes care and text-messaging, teleconsultation for emergency orthopedic patients, asthma self-management via mobile phone, and many other healthcare mobile technology applications. [1]

A 2006 study, “A randomized controlled trial of Sweet Talk, a text-messaging system to support young people with diabetes” concluded:

“Scheduled, tailored text messaging offers an innovative means of supporting adolescents with diabetes and could be adapted for other health-care settings and chronic diseases.” Victoria Franklin, Annalu Waller, Claudia Pagliari, Stephen Greene. Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics. December 1, 2003, 5(6): 991-996. doi:10.1089/152091503322641042.

A medical paper sponsored by the University of Edinburgh in the UK that sought to understand the potential role of mobile phone based monitoring on the self-management of asthma found that:

“Mobile phone-based monitoring systems have the potential to support guided self-management by aiding transition from clinician-supported early phases to effective self-management during the maintenance phase.” H. Pinnock, R. Slack, C. Pagliari, D. Price, A. Sheikh (2007) Understanding the potential role of mobile phone-based monitoring on asthma self-management: qualitative study Clinical & Experimental Allergy 37 (5) , 794–802 doi:10.1111/j.1365-2222.2007.02708.x

Another diabetes study “Parent-Child Interaction Using a Mobile and Wireless System for Blood Glucose Monitoring” came to the conclusion that:

“User enthusiasm suggests that such systems might find a consumer market regardless of whether or not they ultimately improve health outcomes.” V Franklin, S Sullivan-Bolyai, Deede Gammon, Eirik Årsand, Ole Anders Walseth, Niklas Andersson, Martin Jenssen, Ted Taylor Journal of Medical Internet Research. 2005, Vol. 7, No. 5

Along with a host of other university funded medical research, it would appear the potential for providing support with certain health-related goals is phenomenal. The technology not only works, but patients in certain studies are so enamored of the way the technology delivers their care program that they still enjoy using it irrespective of its perceived health benefits. The approach is nothing different to what average cell phone users are already accustomed to such as texting and accessing the Internet via the phone’s browser.

It is these self same clinically approved uses of the technology that have been adapted and tailored to the health and wellness needs of individuals with iHelpWellness, as well as the needs of healthcare professionals wanting an always-on solution in helping treat their clients with the Walk-With Assistant.

For somebody wishing to effectively self-manage and regulate their wellness goals, the always on support and intrinsic motivation coupled with the ability to track their progress through their mobile phone should be right at the top of their to-do list. And for healthcare professionals wanting to provide extra support to their clients and to compliment their heath care or wellness program it’s an invaluable supplemental to their professional practice.

[1] Small Screens, Big Opportunity. Ingenio and Harris Interactive Study http://www.resourceshelf.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/06/ippc.pdf

Author's Bio: 

Adam Powell, LSCSW, managing member and project director, Bright Tiger Enterprises, LLC, is a professionally trained clinical social worker and has maintained a mental health practice since 1994. In clinical practice he specializes in helping people make solution focused changes that result in measurable real life changes. He focuses on treating depressive, anxiety, and stress related disorders, anger management training, self-growth, and emotion regulation.

Adam founded Bright Tiger Enterprises, LLC, owners of iHelpWellness.com and Walk-With Assistant, in June, 2003 for the purpose of launching the Walk-With Assistant and iHelpWellness. The goal of Bright Tiger Enterprises is to blend the strength and versatility of wireless internet access into mobile structure, support, and encouragement for self-help patrons.

For more information contact Adam Powell at info@iHelpWellness.com or visit iHelpWellness.com.