mHealth: Does Healthcare Go Mobile?


Healthcare domain is going mobile, and there are various reasons for that. People are using their smartphones more than any other devices, so why not communicate with patients through mobile. There is even new term called mHealth that means the use of mobile devices or wearable technologies. How mHealth is already influencing healthcare?

The most familiar for many examples of mHealth technologies are programs for mobile phones and tablets related to the control of physical condition (for example, weight) or fitness. There two main types of healthcare mobile apps: for fitness and for medical purposes. Fitness apps are becoming more and more popular in recent years. It is very convenient to have a portable trainer in your pocket, isn’t it? In the case of fitness apps, it is also comfortable for doctors to manage healthy lifestyles of the patient. Weight loss is a significant part of fitness apps, where thanks to app, it is possible to control diet, or do exercises.

Second types of healthcare app have medical purposes. This kind of app cannot be simply downloaded from the store; you will need cooperation with the healthcare institution or doctor.

More and more people want to be healthy and believe that technology will help them. This is indicated by studies of the past few years. Last year, the PWC conducted survey, the results of which showed the three most basic expectations from mobile healthcare. It turned out that 56% of consumers of fitness gadgets believe that they will allow them to live 10 years longer. Many respondents believe that mobile health will solve the problem of obesity. Another group of respondents is ready to buy a device to improve their health indicators through regular monitoring.

Another survey showed that the absolute majority of smartphone users (96%) are confident that mHealth applications improve their lives.

J’son & Partners Consulting analysts identified next factors contributing to the development of mobile health in the world:

Mobile distribution is actively growing. The total number of users exceed billion.

The aging population of the planet become a serious economic problem. According to UN forecasts, by 2050, 22% of the world’s population will be retired. Older people are more likely

to suffer from chronic diseases and more in need of medical care.

The population living in the countryside. Villagers often do not have access to qualified medical assistance and need remote treatment.

Health systems are becoming more expensive. Growth in the number of people on the planet and aging increase medical expenses. The cost of healthcare in the United States will increase from $ 3 trillion in 2014 to $ 5 trillion in 2022.  Medical staff deficiency. It is expected that by 2020 the US will miss 1 million nurses.

To categorize healthcare mobile apps, it is possible to mention following categories:

      Collection of data (different medical metrics, results, sleep, etc.)

      Interaction with clinic or doctor

      Healthy lifestyle (diets, lifehacks, etc.)

      Fitness apps (exercises, tips, etc.)

      Treatment, control of medicaments taking

      Help in special cases, particular diseases.

The tendency of building healthcare apps is growing, creating new market in the mobile industry. The most promising direction of mHealth over the next 5 years will be the development of applications for remote monitoring and consulting, predicted by Research2Guidance.

Over the next 5 years, the impact of mHealth applications on healthcare is expected to increase.

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