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Mobile tech, money help patients help themselves: study


By Paul Barr
Posted: May 31, 2012 - 1:45 pm ET
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A study backed by the National Institutes of Health found that remote coaching supported by mobile technology and financial incentives has the potential to improve diet and activity among patients who have multiple chronic conditions.

The study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, found that patients who were provided three weeks of remote coaching supported by mobile decision technology and money did a better job of eating healthier foods and exercising.

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A financial incentive of $175 was contingent upon using a mobile device to self-monitor and reach behavioral targets, and during follow-up, incentives of $30 to $80 were contingent upon uploading data, according to the study.

In an accompanying commentary, William Riley, program director in the cardiovascular sciences division at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, said the use of mobile technology to improve cardiovascular health is worth further study, especially with regard to health outcomes and costs, the release noted. Mobile technology offers the chance to deliver key health messages outside the context of intermittent in-person visits with a healthcare provider.


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