Participatory Health: Online and Mobile Tools Help Chronically Ill Manage Their Care

Jane Sarasohn-Kahn, THINK-Health

This publication focuses on the development of online and mobile applications that can help individuals manage their chronic conditions.

September 2009

Of the $2.2 trillion in US health care spending in 2007, 75% ($1.7 trillion) went to care for patients with chronic conditions. Despite this staggering expenditure, there are pervasive problems with the quality of chronic disease care.

Chronic disease is most effectively managed through frequent, near-continuous monitoring. Yet many patients spend only a few minutes a year with their clinicians. According to the National Council on Aging, a third of all chronically ill people say they leave a doctor's office or hospital feeling confused about what they should do to manage their disease, and 57% report that their providers have not asked whether they have anyone to help implement a care plan at home.

New technology tools are emerging to bridge these gaps. This report describes some of the online and mobile platforms and applications that can assist patients in managing their health care — not only at home, but almost anywhere outside their clinician's office. Sources include extensive interviews with stakeholders in the field, whose views and experiences are presented throughout the report.

The complete report is available under Document Downloads.