Study: Homeless Patients Likely to Benefit From mHealth

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Because of a high rate of cell phone ownership among homeless patients, this population may benefit from mHealth, according to a study published in the Journal of Internet Medical Research.

Researchers performed a cross-sectional study of 5,788 patients in three Connecticut emergency departments from July to August 2012, of whom 249 experienced homelessness. Patients were asked about their living situation and their technology usage.

Results showed 70.7 percent of homeless patients to own smartphones, as compared with 85.9 percent of patients in stable housing. The high rate of cell phone ownership among homeless patients means "ED providers can increase connectivity for all mHealth purposes including referrals, appointment and medication reminders, and providing relevant information for health management" using mobile technology, the researchers wrote.

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