Cell phones can be beneficial to one’s healthBy Dr. Veita Bland / November 22, 2019
Just about everyone has a cell phone today. It used to be a necessity for some jobs but now it has become one of those things that we all must have. Cell phones have almost become a necessity of life. Few people will leave the house without their phone.
The phones make us all accessible to others. One can stay in constant contact with your family and crew if that is your desire. You can run your social media empire from your phone. No television programs or sporting event will ever have to be missed. You can pay your bills, deposit checks, transfer money, trade stocks and many other activities through your cell phone. Such a powerful tool in the palm of your hand.
We have seen the advent of “wearables” such as the watches that keep up with our steps, the rhythm of our heart beats, and our sleep patterns, become quite popular and useful in helping us take care of our health.
Cell phones have also been used to measure the distance one travels in a day. With the correct app, placing your finger over the lens of the camera will measure your pulse and blood pressure.
A recent study examined the usefulness of cell phones with cardiac patients. It is no secret that people forget to take their medications all the time. This can be especially dangerous when an individual has had a cardiac event. Their heart is in a weakened state, thus taking their medications is especially important.
In one study an app is downloaded to the phone of the participants. There is an alarm when it is time to take their medications. The patient would then take his/her medication and confirm on the app they had taken it. The doctors could then check and see if the patient is taking the medications. This app also contained pharmacological as well as consumer information on the medication and why it is important.
The other study group received written and oral instruction that told them when to take their medication and written and oral information why it is important to take the medication.
The researchers had hypothesized there would be a 30 percent increase in those taking their medications properly. At the end of 90 days there was a 65 percent compliance rate with those who had the app and only a 21 percent compliance rate with those who were in the group that only received written and oral instructions on their medications.
Certainly, compliance with taking their medications is better for patients. Those research participants with the apps also had greater knowledge about their medications and why it was important to take them. This is indeed an effective way to increase patient compliance with medications and it is cost-effective.
Placing an alarm in your phone to remind you to take your medications is a technique I use to achieve better compliance of medications with my patients. It might be one you can incorporate into your life if you find you are forgetting to take your medications. That pill remaining in the bottle does you no good.
Dr. Veita Bland is a board-certified Greensboro physician and hypertension specialist. Dr. Bland’s radio show, “It’s a Matter of Your Health,” can be heard live on Wednesdays, 5:30 p.m. on N.C. A&T State University’s WNAA, 90.1 FM. Listeners may call in and ask questions. The show is replayed on Sirius 142 at 5 p.m. on Wed. Email Dr. Bland at firstname.lastname@example.org.