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Scripps Study To Evaluate Whether Mobile Health Apps Help Lower Medical Costs

— People with chronic conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure can rack up enormous health care costs. A new study hopes to find out whether wireless monitoring devices can help reduce those expenses.

Aired 8/9/13 on KPBS News.

Mobile health apps are cool, but can they help lower health care costs? A new study hopes to find out.


Researchers at Scripps Health will recruit 200 people with high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart arrhythmias.

All of the patients will be enrolled in a disease management program. Half of these patients will also be given a smart phone equipped with mobile health monitoring apps.

The six-month study will evaluate whether the use of new technologies will lead to better disease control and lower costs.

The federal government estimates the annual health care costs associated with high blood pressure are $131 billion.

Scripps Chief Academic Health Officer Dr. Eric Topol, said the current standard of care just isn't cutting it.

"It isn't working at all, it's ridiculously expensive, and ineffective," he said. "So, we got innovations here, and this is the time to put it to the test."

Topol explained this is the first time mobile health apps will be rigorously tested in a randomized trial.

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Avatar for user 'DentalAnywhere'

DentalAnywhere | August 12, 2013 at 9:27 a.m. ― 3 years, 7 months ago

I think that even without mobile apps that specifically monitor health concerns, apps can be a great use for people with health and financial troubles. Knowledge is power, and I believe apps can put knowledge- literally- into the hands of people who need it most. If the patient knows exactly what's going on, they may not need to make a costly visit to a doctor or dentist, or may be able to catch something early before it's serious. Apps can even bridge the gap of patient-doctor communications so that doctors can offer information remotely without having to use up appointment time.

Miranda Mendoza

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