Utilisation of mobile health by medical doctors in a Zimbabwean health care facility
Background: Mobile Health is the utilisation of mobile devices like cellphones and tablets for the delivery of health care. It is an up and coming intervention promising to benefit health services. Recent mobile health studies have tended to focus on mHealth for data collection and surveillance rather than on actual patient care. This paper highlights the potential and the challenges of mHealth use in the delivery of health care services.
Objectives: This paper focused on determining the use of mHealth and identifying and describing the opportunities and the challenges faced by the medical doctors in using mHealth at a specific health care facility in Zimbabwe.
Methods: A quantitative, descriptive, cross-sectional and analytical design was used to determine the rate of utilisation of selected mHealth “patient identification and treatment activities” by medical doctors. A structured questionnaire was used for data collection form 104 respondents. The number of the returned complete and usable questionnaires was 42. No sampling technique was done because the whole population was of interest to the researcher, accessible and available during data collection.
Results: Fifty percent (50%) of the respondents indicated, lack of knowledge and unawareness in using mHealth to support chronically ill patients. The majority of the respondents (83.3%) believed that mHealth presented opportunities to improve health care delivery. The majority of the respondents (95%) indicated the potential for its future use.
Conclusion: Given the challenges that were encountered mHealth program to be officially launched for mHealth use and the users to be developed on its utilisation.
Keywords: Challenges, Health care facility, mHealth, Opportunities