Might mobile health technologies help alleviate health disparities between African-American and white men? That is the implication in a recent Huffington Post commentary.
Writing in the Huffington Post, Washington, D.C., lawyer John M. Burns cited statistics indicating that black males live 7.1 fewer years on average than men of other races and are 2.4 times more likely than white men to die of prostate cancer. Diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and HIV/AIDS also are far more prominent in African-Americans than in white Americans.
“To improve the health of black men, we must ensure that: 1) They have affordable access to health care; 2) they become more knowledgeable and educated about the resources at their disposal to better care for themselves; and 3) we work, as a community, towards changing attitudes and priorities so that men take a more proactive and preventative approach to their individual health care,” Burns wrote.
With June being Men’s Health Month in the U.S., Burns said this is a good time to examine ways to improve the well-being of men of all races and ethnicities. “One way for us to do this more efficiently is by taking advantage of the mobile platforms that are making health care more accessible and giving us tools to better manage our health,” he suggested.
According to Burns, “mobile health initiatives and applications have the potential to build a bridge to better health care for all communities. Innovative wireless technologies provide new and more substantive opportunities for better health and better health education than ever before.”
He even mentioned a September 2011 MobiHealthNews forecast that there would be upwards of 13,000 mobile health apps for the Apple iOS alone by this summer. “Men today have more options than ever to improve their health, and mobile health solutions add another valuable weapon to their arsenal,” Burns said.
Without specifically mentioning it, Burns also seemed to argue in favor of a last month’s Federal Communications Commission plan to open up dedicated wireless spectrum for healthcare usage.
“As we consider public policies that encourage better health, we should ensure that access to advanced mobile networks is at the top of the list,” he said. “That is good not just for men, but for this country and for our economy.”