Potential role of mobile technology in patient self-management in South Africa

Mosehle, Katleho Dominica Miriam
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The purpose of this research is to establish the likelihood of South Africans’ acceptance of mobile health services to monitor and manage their health status. Additionally, this study seeks to determine the potential benefits of mHealth. South Africa has a high incidence of non-communicable diseases which are caused by lifestyle choices. The results of this study may provide stakeholders with tools that would enable patients to become active participants in the ongoing management of their health. A quantitative research study was utilised to collect data. The sample population consisted of individuals with varying backgrounds and health status. The data was analysed through the use of exploratory factor analysis. The findings of the analysis show that South Africans are likely to accept and use mHealth. The results from the survey show that the benefits of mobile health services include; increasing accessibility and convenience, better quality healthcare and a potential reduction in the cost of healthcare delivery. The results of the study were quite positive and indicate that South Africans have a positive behavioural intention to use mHealth services. Mobile health services are beneficial to healthcare consumers as proactive self-care of chronic illnesses is necessary to curb the incidence of non-communicable diseases. mHealth enables health consumers to instantly access healthcare practitioners and relevant health information regardless of their geographic location. This is due to the rich features of smart devices which facilitate two way communication and real-time data transfer. Future research should explore the effects of mHealth usage on the long-term health outcomes of patients with chronic diseases.
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Health -- Computer networks -- South Africa,Telecommunication in medicine -- South AfricaChronically ill -- Home care -- Technological innovations,