Managing Chronic Conditions and Rehabilitation through Mobile Health Apps

Christina Andaya
August 21, 2023

Chronic conditions and rehabilitation are significant health concerns globally. “Living with chronic conditions often involves significant lifestyle change to learn and sustain healthier long-term habits” (Hartzler et al, 2016). However, many people find it challenging to manage their conditions and access the resources they need to improve their health. Fortunately, with the increasing availability of mobile health apps, managing chronic conditions and rehabilitation has become easier than ever before.

Mobile health apps are software applications that run on smartphones and other mobile devices. “User experiences have been described via four themes: Engagement, Functionality, Information Management and Ease of Use” (Anderson et al, 2016). The themes play a huge factor to ensure patients can use it and for app developers to constantly refine it for current and future users. This highlights the importance of creating user-friendly mobile health apps that are accessible to everyone. “These applications offer the potential for dynamic engagement of patients and providers in health care and a new means of improving health outcomes” (Sama et al, 2014). They are designed to help people manage their health by offering a range of features and tools, such as symptom tracking, medication monitoring, and appointment and task reminders. It “is a "silent partner". It provides companionship to an otherwise solitary activity [of exercise, outside help that is useful]” (Hartzler et al, 2016). These apps can be particularly helpful for individuals with chronic conditions or those undergoing rehabilitation, providing a valuable tool for managing their health and well-being.

Mobile health apps are useful tools that allow individuals to take control of their health. “Self-management is an important factor for helping people cope with chronic diseases” (Li et al, 2020). Patients can take control of their health by managing symptoms and medications, tracking progress, and communicating with healthcare providers. Mobile health apps make it easier and more convenient to manage health issues on the go. This is helpful for those undergoing rehabilitation who need to perform exercises or other activities throughout the day. By using these apps, people can gain autonomy and align choices with their unique needs, ultimately enhancing their quality of life.

In addition, mobile health apps can provide a sense of community and support to people. Many apps offer forums or other online communities where individuals can connect with others who are going through similar experiences. Patients who are using the app can also contact “staff support via text, email, phone, online discussion forums, or private online messaging centers” (Lau et al, 2020). Information about medical conditions or technical problems can be shared on the platform as well as showing them they're not alone. It's a great place to share tips, encouragement, and motivation.

Overall, mobile health apps are useful tools for managing chronic conditions and rehabilitation. They offer convenience, control, and support, and can help people live healthier and better lives. If you are having trouble managing your health, perhaps a mobile health app could assist you throughout the recovery journey.

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  • Anderson, K., Burford, O., & Emmerton, L. (2016). Mobile Health Apps to Facilitate Self-Care: A Qualitative Study of User Experiences. PLOS ONE, 11(5), e0156164.
  • Hartzler, A. L., Venkatakrishnan, A., Mohan, S., Silva, M., Lozano, P., Ralston, J. D., Ludman, E., Rosenberg, D., Newton, K. M., Nelson, L., & Pirolli, P. (2016). Acceptability of a team-based mobile health (mHealth) application for lifestyle self-management in individuals with chronic illnesses. Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. Annual International Conference, 2016, 3277–3281.
  • Lau, N., Waldbaum, S., Parigoris, R., O'Daffer, A., Walsh, C., Colt, S. F., ... & Rosenberg, A. R. (2020). eHealth and mHealth psychosocial interventions for youths with chronic illnesses: systematic review. JMIR Pediatrics and Parenting, 3(2), e22329.
  • Li, W. Y., Chiu, F. C., Zeng, J. K., Li, Y. W., Huang, S. H., Yeh, H. C., ... & Yang, F. J. (2020). Mobile health app with social media to support self-management for patients with chronic kidney disease: prospective randomized controlled study. Journal of medical Internet research, 22(12), e19452. Chicago
  • Sama, P. R., Eapen, Z. J., Weinfurt, K. P., Shah, B. R., & Schulman, K. A. (2014). An evaluation of mobile health application tools. JMIR mHealth and uHealth, 2(2), e3088.

written by
Christina Andaya
Social Media and Communications Specialist