Do-it-yourself healthcare: The current landscape, prospects and consequences

Percivil Melendez Carrera, Andrew R.H. Dalton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The wider availability and increasing use of mHealth tools–covering health applications, smartphone plug-ins and gadgets is significant for healthcare. This trend epitomises broader trajectories in access to and delivery of healthcare, with greater consumer involvement and decentralisation. This shift may be conceptualised as ‘do-it-yourself Healthcare’–allowing consumers to monitor and manage their health, and guide their healthcare consumption. Technology that enables data collection by patients informs them about vital health metrics, giving them more control over experiences of health or illness. The information can be used alone as empowered consumers or together with healthcare professionals in an environment of patient-centred care. Current evidence suggests a large scope for do-it-yourself Healthcare, given the availability of technologies, whilst mHealth tools enhance diagnostics, improve treatment, increase access to services and lower costs. There are, however, limitations to do-it-yourself Healthcare. Notably, its evidence base is less well developed than the availability of technologies to facilitate it. A more complex model and understanding is needed to explain motivations for and consequences of engaging in do-it-yourself Healthcare. That said, its introduction alongside existing medicine may improve quality and reduce costs–potentially improving health system sustainability whilst future generations–tomorrow's middle-aged and the elderly, will become more conducive to its spread.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-40
JournalMaturitas
Volume77
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 Nov 2014

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Keywords

  • IR-87721
  • METIS-298602

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