Use of mobile health apps in low-income populations: a prospective study of facilitators and barriers

MedRxiv : the Preprint Server for Health Sciences
P. LiuErica Spatz


Background: Mobile applications (apps) are increasingly popular in healthcare. For low-income populations, barriers exist, yet limited data are available about the challenges and catalysts for adoption. Methods and Results: We partnered with a primary care center and a community organization and recruited patients to use a health app. A community health worker (CHW) consented participants, downloaded the app and instructed on its use, and provided ongoing technical support. Bi-weekly surveys for three months were sent via email/text to assess participant experiences and perceptions. The majority (81 of 108 [75.0%] English language-preferred and 50 of 52 [96.2%] Spanish language-preferred) of patients approached were enrolled. Common reasons for declining were: did not own a smartphone (13.8%), did not have email (20.7%), and not interested (58.6%). Enrollment challenges included: insufficient storage, unfamiliarity with downloading apps, forgotten passwords to email accounts, and slow/absent WiFi connection - which the CHW and the app company were able to address. Most participants, English and Spanish language-preferred respectively, were interested in monitoring their health through an app (74.4%; 70.4%), connecting devices s...Continue Reading

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