How mHealth is Revolutionizing the Health Industry?
Even if you've never heard the word "mHealth," chances are high that you've used an app at least once in your life to track your health for yourself or someone else. Unknowingly or intentionally, everyone has utilized something that fits under this category. They might check their health system's app to see the results of the blood tests their doctor requested, or they might use an app to track and monitor their blood sugar levels. All of these are examples of mobile health or mHealth.
It goes without saying that smartphone use and popularity have exploded over the past eight to ten years. Because so many people are nearly always connected via these devices, mobile health applications are being used to improve the way healthcare is delivered. Patient's expectations of mHealth applications are anticipated to grow along with them. According to one study, people are 70% more likely to choose a doctor who does so than one who doesn't send follow-up reminders through email or text.
Is the healthcare industry about to undergo the same kind of profound shift as other industries like banking and retail, which have benefited greatly from utilizing mobile technology? In this article, we'll analyze what mHealth is particularly and how it currently fits within the healthcare sector.
What is mHealth?
MHealth refers to the use of mobile devices in the practice of medicine and healthcare. Mobile devices such as cell phones, tablets, laptops, specialized medical equipment, and personal digital assistants are examples of these portable devices. Mhealth, first described by Robert Istepanian as the use of "emerging mobile communications and network technologies for healthcare," is seen as a subsegment of the larger e-health sector.
MHealth reduces clinicians' dependency on patient data collection and health monitoring while standardizing access to healthcare tracking. Mhealth's role in educating individuals about preventative medicine, supporting treatments, and keeping illness surveillance reduces the burden on the healthcare system.
A survey also found that, as of 2017, there were over 318,000 mobile health apps available in app stores, and that number was growing steadily. It's obvious that a lot of effort is being put into creating mobile health applications in this industry, even though it's obvious that not all of them will be of the highest caliber. Most of these apps can be classified into two categories:
● Applications for controlling one's diet, way of life, and exercise routines.
● Diabetes, heart diseases, women's health conditions, and prescription reminders are among the health conditions that can be managed using apps.
Within the mHealth industry, which encompasses mobile health, there exists a multitude of companies that play significant roles. Notable examples of such businesses include:
Apple Inc.: This company is involved in mHealth with its HealthKit and ResearchKit platforms, which allow developers to create healthcare apps.
Inc. Google: Google is involved in mHealth with its Google Fit platform, which enables users to track their wellness and fitness goals.
Omada Health: To assist in the management and prevention of chronic illnesses, Omada Health provides digital health solutions.
Livongo Health: Livongo Health is a digital health platform that provides coaching and assistance to individuals dealing with chronic conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and obesity.
A mobile electrocardiogram (ECG) tool was developed by AliveCor to let people monitor their heart health on their smartphones.
What are the Benefits of mHealth?
Greater Access to Healthcare: mHealth allows people to access healthcare information and services at a distance, removing geographic restrictions and enhancing access to healthcare, particularly in underprivileged areas.
improved Engagement, Education, and Shared Decision-Making: mHealth tools help healthcare providers and patients communicate effectively, promoting improved engagement, education, and shared decision-making. As a result, patients are more empowered and encouraged to take an active role in controlling their own health.
Healthcare professionals can remotely check on patients' vital signs, symptoms, and health issues by utilizing mHealth solutions. Due to earlier identification of possible problems, prompt action, and personalized care management, patient outcomes are improved and hospitalizations are decreased.
Electronic health records (EHRs) and personal health information are only two examples of the types of health data that can be effectively collected, stored, and managed via mHealth applications. As a result, workflows are expedited, accurate and thorough health records are made possible, and care coordination between healthcare professionals is improved.
Healthy behaviors, preventive measures, and proactive management of chronic diseases are all promoted by mHealth platforms, which provide a variety of features like health tracking, fitness monitoring, and personalized health advice.
Timely Access to Medical Information: mHealth gives medical professionals instant access to medical databases, references, and recommendations, facilitating rapid diagnostic and treatment decisions.
Cost savings: mHealth has the potential to bring down healthcare costs for both patients and providers by minimizing the need for in-person visits and improving the way that healthcare is delivered. It can reduce pointless hospital stays, ER visits, and the cost of travel for accessing treatment.
Study and Public Health: mHealth technologies make it easier to collect data for epidemiological studies, public health initiatives, and medical research. These real-time data can aid in the detection of patterns, the tracking of outbreaks, and the development of evidence-based public health treatments.
By facilitating more convenient and accessible access to healthcare services, enhancing patient outcomes, and lowering healthcare costs, mHealth technology has the potential to revolutionize the healthcare sector. By tracking their symptoms, keeping an eye on their meds, and corresponding with their healthcare professionals remotely, consumers are now able to take charge of their health thanks to the usage of mobile devices and apps.
The potential of mHealth is limitless thanks to constant technological advancements, and it is probable that we will see even more ground-breaking solutions in the future. Although there are undoubtedly difficulties in developing and implementing mHealth technology, both researchers and healthcare practitioners should pay close attention to it because of the potential benefits.