mHealth Apps: The Future Of Healthcare
As technology and society evolve, there is an increasing need to provide healthcare in new and innovative ways. Can we achieve positive healthcare outcomes without the patient even having to leave their seat?
This is a truly relevant topic for healthcare providers. While rapid change and opportunism are expected of the biopharmaceutical industry, it might seem that the healthcare sector is slower to embrace the technological advances of mobile communications.
Yet, with 3.8 billion people globally using smartphones, the time has come for mHealth apps to become an essential tool for healthcare providers.
Introducing mHealth Technology
Mobile health or mHealth technology is a partnership of technology and the healthcare industry.
Typically, mHealth incorporates cloud computing technology with personal use devices such as mobile and wireless devices.
The idea is to use technology to improve medical research and data gathering, healthcare services, and patient health outcomes. The more rapidly the eHealth industry develops, the more companies offer custom medical software.
Sources indicate that there are 320,000 mHealth apps available for download. The scope of these apps ranges from general health and lifestyle to disease-specific symptom monitoring interfaces.
What Are the Benefits of mHealth Apps?
Allowing information to be wireless and mobile brings numerous advantages for both patients and medical professionals.
mHealth technology has greatly improved access to medical information for those situated far away from city centers. Elderly and home-bound users may now have medical professionals available at their fingertips.
Real-time consultation through mHealth apps and electronic prescriptions also streamline the process, making it easier than before to seek the proper treatment and medication.
Medical records and information are now easily accessible at the point of care simply by logging onto the mHealth app. This greatly reduces time spent on logging and navigating manual documentation, allowing medical professionals to focus on the patients.
More efficient treatment systems save both time and resources for healthcare facilities and improve public health overall.
While decluttering the emergency rooms and clinics in healthcare facilities, more efficient treatment systems also help patients save on medical costs.
Using mHealth apps, users are empowered with access to medical information. They are allowed to manage their condition independently.
If the user decides that they need a doctor, they can still save on travel expenses and clinic bills by consulting with doctors online instead of in person.
As scheduled clinic visits could be weeks or months apart, the real-time logging of information through the mHealth app will lead to a clearer picture of the patient’s actual condition.
Instead of waiting in line in a healthcare facility, patients can use an app to make appointments for video calls or home visits.
Their mHealth app can also function as a reminder and schedule planner for taking medication or doing prescribed exercises. It is essentially like having a personal nurse in their pocket.
Excellent Return on Investment (ROI)
Healthcare providers need only to invest once to develop the mHealth app. Using companies such as Redwerk to build custom medical software, the healthcare provider need not invest in any additional staff or infrastructure.
Once the mHealth app is widely adopted and recognized, the flow of patients and referrals could grow exponentially. Profits increase with no extra costs to the healthcare provider, resulting in exceptional ROI.
Looking to the Future
As wearable technology continues to advance, there will be increasing integration with mHealth applications. Researchers have developed the first stretchable wearable patch that simultaneously monitors multiple biomarkers.
This is the time for healthcare providers to look at complementing their services with a mobile app. mHealth apps allow medical professionals to always be on the pulse of their patients while taking the stress off from their resources.
There is so much potential for innovative patient monitoring in the healthcare industry, and it is exciting to see what will come next.
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