The use of mobile digital devices in healthcare has increased in recent years, with many medical professionals turning to digital and mobile health (mHealth) tools to improve management, evaluation, and monitoring of patients. One area where mHealth technologies have shown particular promise is in the prescription of physical exercise programs.
Want to Lose Weight? Get a Phone!.. Toni Caparros, a researcher who conducted a metastudy as part of his doctoral thesis, examined the effectiveness of physical exercise programs prescribed via mobile digital devices. The study analyzed 13 studies conducted between 2011 and 2021, and its first results were published in open access.
Results!.. The study found that 70% of case studies showed a significant improvement in the efficacy of physical activity treatments when prescribed via mobile digital devices. Additionally, 85% of the studies analyzed concluded that treatment adherence was greater when mHealth technologies were involved. This suggests that digital-based physical exercise interventions are at least as effective as face-to-face ones, and can be a valuable tool for healthcare professionals in prescribing and monitoring physical activity programs.
Tailored Physical Activity Programs To Ensure Maximum Efficacy!.. The WHO recommends that adults between the ages of 18 and 64 should carry out between 150 and 300 minutes of moderate physical exercise per week, while those aged 65 and over should also incorporate exercises designed to enhance their quality of life and reduce the risk of harm. However, almost none of the studies analyzed in Caparros' metastudy reflected the adaptation of physical activity programs to take account of the patient's abilities, age, or illness. This highlights the need for individualized support and tailored physical activity programs to ensure maximum efficacy and adherence to the program.
More Research is Required!.. Caparros plans to focus his future research on improving the digital-health-based prescription of physical exercise to take account of patient's individual requirements and digital skillset. By adapting physical activity programs to the patient's abilities, age, or illness, and providing quality information and individualized support, digital-based physical exercise interventions can be more effective and easier to stick with.
Mobile apps and smartphones were found to be the most common support provided to patients, but Caparros'study found that these interventions use very generic variables and fail to provide quality information. To improve the efficacy of digital-based physical exercise interventions, it is crucial that healthcare professionals provide quality information and individualized support to patients. This will help patients to understand the benefits of physical activity, make informed decisions about their own health, and be more likely to adhere to their exercise program over time.
In conclusion, Caparros' study provides evidence to suggest that mobile digital devices can be an effective tool for prescribing and monitoring physical exercise programs. However, to maximize their potential, healthcare professionals must adapt physical activity programs to the patient's abilities, age, or illness and provide quality information and individualized support to ensure maximum efficacy and adherence to the program. By doing so, digital-based physical exercise interventions can be an accessible and effective tool for improving health outcomes for patients.