Mobile device applications for electronic patient portals in oncology

Kelvin K. Pho, Rong Lu, Samantha Gates, Jennifer Cai, Donglu Xie, Yang Xie, Simon J. Craddock Lee, David E. Gerber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


PURPOSE Mobile devices provide individuals with rapid and frequent access to electronic patient portals. We investigated how oncology patients use this technology to review test results and communicate with providers. PATIENTS AND METHODS We performed a retrospective study of patients enrolled in the MyChart electronic health portal associated with the Epic electronic medical record at the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center from 2012 to 2017. We recorded type of portal access according to year and patient characteristics. Associations among patient characteristics and types of portal access were tested using Mann- Whitney U test, Χ2 test, and linear Gaussian regression models. RESULTS Since the availability of a mobile device application in 2012, 2,524 patients with cancer accessed MyChart from a mobile device at least once, which accounted for 291,526 mobile log-ins. The number of patients with MyChart mobile application log-ins increased from 4% in 2012 to 13% in 2017 (P = .004). Among these patients, the median proportion of log-ins that occurred through mobile device use increased from 22% to 72% during this time period (P < 001). Mobile access occurred more frequently among younger (P < 001), black (P = .002), and Hispanic (P = .004) patients. Since 2012, total portal log-in frequency increased approximately 110% among patients who used the mobile application compared with 25% among those who did not use the mobile application (P < 001). CONCLUSION Mobile access to electronic health portals has increased patient portal use, particularly among traditionally underserved populations. How this widely and immediately available technology affects patient expectations and experiences warrants additional study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalJCO Clinical Cancer Informatics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Health Informatics
  • Cancer Research


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