Study of awareness of m-health applications among under-graduate medical students of Nootan medical college, Visnagar
Dr. Soha A Ghasura
Mobile health, a term used for the practice of medicine and public health supported by mobile devices. The m Health field has emerged as a sub-segment of E-health, the use of information and communication technology (ICT), such as computers, mobile phones, satellites, patient monitors, etc., for health services and information. M Health applications include the use of mobile devices in collecting community and clinical health data, delivery of healthcare information to practitioners, researchers and patients, real-time monitoring of patient vital signs, the direct provision of care via mobile telemedicine as well as training and collaboration of health workers.Aim: To study the awareness of m-health among undergraduate students in a government medical college and to determine how many people would like to use m-health in their practice.Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted from November 2019 to December 2019 in first year medical students of Nootan Medical College. M-health survey questionnaires were designed and distributed among medical undergraduates, and their knowledge and attitudes toward m-health were assessed. Descriptive statistics on their knowledge, attitude and utilization patterns were calculated.Results: About 136 respondents who had given verbal consent were included in the study. The response rate was 45%. Out of 136 students; 73 (53.67%) were males while 63 (46%) were females. The mean age of the participants was 21.5 ±2.5 years. Of this total, 57% had heard of e-health prior to the survey; 28% were of the opinion that healthcare professionals should hear about e-health in medical college; 50.5% believed that e-health services for developing countries were useful in general. According to 40.3%, more information on successful e- health projects would be necessary to introduce M-health services into medical practice. Self-education, and better diagnosis and treatments were the main motivational factors to use e-health. Of those surveyed, 67.2% had access to Internet but most of them had not used m-health apps more than once in half a year.Conclusion: Students at our institute had a fair but not adequate understanding of benefits of m-health. Incorporating more information on digital health in undergraduate curriculum would enhance the quality of medical graduation and help to treat patients through e health resources like tele consultation and android applications. Review and references by media and respected medical experts was considered most important for downloading an e-health service. The present study demonstrates a lack of adequate knowledge about m-health among medical undergraduates. However, a majority believed that m-health hasa very important role to play in present and future healthcare.