While technological innovations are nothing new across Asia, Japan could learn a few things about the mHealth industry, which is flourishing at lightning speed elsewhere in the world.
According to a new entry into the Journal of Medical Internet Research, mHealth adoption in Japan has lagged behind other nations of the world, particularly in terms of providing assistance to patients with diabetes.
“Patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes often find it difficult to control their blood glucose level on a daily basis because of distance or physical incapacity,” the report reads. “With the increase in Internet-enabled smartphone use, this problem can be resolved by adopting a mobile diabetes monitoring system. Most existing studies have focused on patients’ usability perceptions, whereas little attention has been paid to physicians’ intentions to adopt this technology.”
According to survey results published in the journal, not even 1 percent of Japanese doctors use connected smartphones for mobile diabetes monitoring among their patients.
While this number may be astoundingly low, there certainly isn’t a lack of faith in mHealth resources in Japan. If anything, it appears that there is a lack of knowledge. 73.2 percent of survey respondents admitted to being not well informed about mobile monitoring technologies and innovations that could assist in the remote care of diabetes patients.
“Physicians consider perceived value and net benefits as the most important motivators to use mobile diabetes monitoring,” the report reads in summary. “Overall quality assessment does affect their intention to use this technology, but only indirectly through perceived value. Net benefits seem to be a strong driver in both a direct and indirect manner, implying that physicians may perceive health improvement with ubiquitous control as a true utility by enhancing cost-effective monitoring, and simultaneously recognize it as a way to create value for their clinical practices.”