Rural patients' access to mobile phones and willingness to receive mobile phone-based pharmacy and other health Technology services: A pilot Study

Jayashri Sankaranarayanan, Rory E. Sallach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Objective: This pilot study explores the patient-centered demand for mobile phone-based health (mobile health [m-health]) services in the rural United States by documenting rural patients' access to mobile phones and patients' willingness to receive m-health services. Subjects and Methods: An anonymous institutional review board-approved survey was completed by patients visiting two rural pharmacies in Nebraska from August to October 2011. Patients who volunteered to complete the survey provided their demographic data, disease state information, health status, mobile phone access, and willingness to receive (in terms of using and giving time to) m-health services. Results: The majority of the 24 survey respondents were 19-40 years old (52%), female (88%), married (63%), with excellent to very good health status (63%), with no comorbidities (83%), with ≤$100 monthly medication expenses (80%), with private insurance (78%), living within 5 miles of their pharmacy (71%), and reporting that m-health services are important to them (75%; 12/16). Approximately 95%, 81%, 73%, and 55% of respondents reported access to a mobile phone, voice mails, text messaging, and mobile phone applications, respectively. Of the respondents, 65%, 57%, 52%, and 48% were willing to receive prerecorded messages for appointment reminders from the doctor, disease information, medication use/self-care information, and symptom monitoring information, respectively. In total, 70%, 63%, 61%, 54%, and 50% were willing to receive prerecorded messages from the pharmacist containing contact requests, new/refill prescription reminders, information on medication problems, reviewing/monitoring of medication use, and medication self-management/ preventive screenings/immunizations, respectively. Of 44% (7/16) respondents willing to give time for m-health services, 83% were willing to give 15 min, and 17% were willing to give 30 min every month. Conclusions: By demonstrating rural patients' demand for m-health (including pharmacy) services, this is one of the first pilot studies showing rural patients have access to mobile phones and may be willing to use and give time to m-health services. Further research is needed on delivery and coordination of transitions in patient-centered care in the United States with m-health services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)182-185
Number of pages4
JournalTelemedicine and e-Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2014


  • access
  • mobile health
  • mobile phone
  • pharmacy
  • rural patients
  • willingness to give time

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management


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