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mHealth and memory aids: levels of smartphone ownership in patients

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ellen Migo, Rebecca Haynes, Lara Harris, Kimberley Friedner, Kate Humphreys, Michael D Kopelman

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)266-270
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Mental Health
Issue number5
Early online date4 Sep 2014
Publication statusPublished - 3 Sep 2015

King's Authors


Background: The use of mobile devices to deliver healthcare has not yet been exploited in neuropsychological rehabilitation. Smartphones have the potential to serve as multi-functional memory aids.

Aims: To investigate whether patients attending a clinic for mixed memory problems own smartphones, to determine whether this could be a widely applicable medium to use as a memory aids device.

Methods: A questionnaire on smartphone ownership was given to an opportunity sample of consecutive patients attending a neuropsychiatry and memory disorders outpatient clinic. Data were collected in 2012 and repeated 12 months later in 2013 to assess changes over time.

Results: Ownership of mobile phones was stable between 2012 (81%) and 2013 (85%), but ownership of smartphones showed a significant increase (from 26% to 40%). Age negatively predicted smartphone ownership.

Conclusion: Despite cognitive or psychiatric problems, our patient group are as likely to own a mobile phone as a member of the general population. Ownership levels are at 40% and likely to increase in the future. Exploring how smartphones and their apps could function as memory aids is likely to be useful for a large enough number of patients to be clinically worthwhile.

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