mHealth company translates physicians' instructions for patients

To address low health literacy among patients, mobile health software companies are trying to develop solutions to improve patient understanding of physicians' instructions.

An estimated one in three Americans has a low level of health literacy, impacting his or her communication with their physician. A 2004 Institute of Medicine study found that low health literacy is linked to patients skipping medications or avoiding healthcare services. Apps such as Meducation, produced by Hearst Health subsidiary First Databank, interpret physicians' orders into a fifth- to eighth-grade reading level and includes pictograms and audio support to help patients understand instructions, according to mHealthNews.

The app is the result of a partnership between the San Francisco-based First Databank and Morrisville, N.C.-based patient understanding software company Polyglot Systems. It is available as a standalone application or an add-on to a healthcare organization's EHR system, according to the report.

The content is available in 18 languages and can be delivered to patients either electronically or as a printout. The information is also made available to patients through a provider's patient portal, according to Polyglot.

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