mHealth – What is Mobile Health?
Long gone are the days when a patient visiting the doctor’s office comes out with a drug prescription paper handout explaining his or her conditions and dosage instructions. Today, the term mHealth (Mobile Health) has proved to be a game changer in healthcare, wherein mobile technology is used to assist patients and physicians for health services and information. The most visible aspect of mHealth is the usage of smartphones and tablets to run apps that virtualize them as clinical examination tools, as reference databases, as medical calculators or as technique guides.
MHealth has resulted in the evolution of a new delivery model focused on care that is patient centered and value based. The rate at which the mHealth apps are introduced into the app stores over the last couple of years is astonishing. According to a recent report there are presently 31,000 health, fitness and medical related apps on the market.
Mobile healthcare applications today can assist you to stay fit, track pregnancies, monitor moods, eat healthier, monitor blood pressure and sugar levels and even assist chronic disease management. From a clinician’s point of view, it assists them in real time monitoring of patient vital signs, sharing medical images and more. Apps like Medscape Mobile, Sermo, MIM mobile, and ICD 10 CM are already popular among the clinicians. According to ABI research estimates predict that the mHealth apps market might see a revenue growth from $ 230 million currently to $400 million in 2016.
Unfortunately, this has also resulted in mHealth becoming a victim of its own popularity. This popularity has attracted not only the best and brightest but also the worst and the mere opportunist. Companies and individual developers see mHealth merely as a potential market to expand their business or get rich quick. Today there are mobile healthcare apps in the market that are not only of no value but also potentially unsafe and dangerous. Consumers clearly lack the guidance of choosing a safe, secure and medically sound health app. This trend clearly puts the future of mHealth at stake. The purpose of this white paper is to explore the concerns and potential risks prevalent in the mHealth app market and identify what needs to change in order for mHealth to be a real game changer in healthcare.
Introduction to Mobile Technology in Healthcare
Earlier this year a significant impact to the healthcare industry was made by Kaiser Permanente, a major player in the managed care domain, by making its electronic health care system, which is considered to be one of the world’s most extensive electronic medical record systems, available via an Android app to its 9 million members. Trade analysts predict that the global sales of smartphones are expected to hit 1.5 billion units by 2016. Years from now every individual is expected to carry a smartphone, which would be exponentially smarter than smartphones are today. This would revolutionize the way healthcare systems engage patients by presenting information much more directly and comprehensively. The way healthcare is delivered and accessed is expected to radically change due to explosive growth in digital health apps.
A look into the diverse range of mHealth apps available in the market shows that we can broadly categorize them into...
Download the full Paper, mHealth: A Potential Game Changer (PDF) to continue reading.