The growth of ‘mHealth’, mobile for the healthcare industry
Do you know the growth of ‘mHealth’ or the mobile health industry is projected at an astounding $10 billion by 2018? Do you know a hospital in US is putting Apple TVs and iPads in 245 rooms so that patients can get real-time insights related to their treatment? Here is a closer look at how mHealth solutions are reshaping the future of the Healthcare industry.
Image Source- http://www.gistdigital.com/blog/for-hospital-management-mobile-healthcare-is-a-must/
‘mHealth’ is no longer just another buzzword but is predicted to gain a lot of momentum in the coming years. For the uninitiated, ‘mHealth’ is a term used to address any medical care accessed with the help of a mobile device.
As per a report from World Health Organization (WHO), the penetration of mobile networks is much higher than roads and electricity (especially in the developing countries). It is not only millennials but doctors, across the world, using mobile devices, which is one of the biggest reasons for mobile applications to become indispensable. Medical practitioners are using mobiles and tablets not only for personal use but also for various aspects of their profession.
Experts see that mHealth can enhance the communication between healthcare providers and patients. It empowers patients to take charge of their health on their own (for example, it makes remote monitoring possible where it’s not possible for patients to go to the doctor). There are various applications available under the ‘mHealth’ umbrella like body data analysis and management of medication, etc. that are already being used extensively. The U.S. Government has introduced the nutrition database and a UV index indicator that are really popular. Another popular application is a text messaging service introduced in Massachusetts that sends reminders of doctor appointments, vaccination information, and tips to pregnant women. Yet another popular app has been introduced for diabetic teens to share data on social media channels (also gives them an opportunity to interact and engage).
Additionally, mHealth is being used for storing patient records, interconnectedness with patients using wearable devices, emergency response and management, location-based medical services, etc.
Trends getting popular
One of the trends that is getting popular is remote patient monitoring. It involves a device that can monitor patient health and then send that data to the health care provider electronically. Wearable infrared sensors to assess physical activity, sleeping patterns, diet and overall physical activity are already being used by users from all age-groups. Data is recorded and shared with the doctor on a real-time basis.
An increasing number of smartphones or tablets are being used as medical instruments for example, to capture blood test results, glucose readings, medication information, and medical images. Healthcare apps are clearly becoming a visible part of mainstream health IT functions and no longer merely being used as early adopters’ technology developments.
Image source- https://pixabay.com/en/ehr-emr-electronic-medical-record-1476525/
Increasing use of smartphones and tablets amongst doctors
The two most widely devices in the healthcare industry are smartphones and tables. One of the research shows that in the US, as high as 65% doctors use the iPhone/ other smartphones. More and more doctors are also using smartphones for their work (like doctors are using iPads for healthcare workflows). There are a growing number of vendors who are developing healthcare applications to help not only the patients but also the doctors.
One of the key reasons for mobile to gain popularity is since it is able to provide transparency to patients (who till now have been at the receiving end). It also enables the health care providers to make information available to their patients in an easier way.
The mobile healthcare industry is definitely headed towards exciting times ahead. Just as mobile technologies are evolving, the healthcare industry is also getting more flexible using the advancements of this technology. And there is not only a positive aspect of it for patients, it means lowered costs, in multiple aspects, for healthcare providers too.
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