With increased mobilization (use of mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones), the concept of Mobile health (mHealth) has also got prominence. With other sweeping changes, it’s also changing the way healthcare solutions are delivered. This is also a revolutionary way to manage your own health. But, it is still in its nascent stages and full potential of mHealth is still not explored. It can significantly improve the quality of healthcare as well as lower down costs. All we need to achieve is a regulated system, in which consumers are connected with the care delivery ecosystem in a proper way.
Growth of Mobile health (mHealth)
Most of the people think that mHealth is about communication using mobile devices, which is incorrect. Its aim is to make a healthcare ecosystem in which healthcare experts (caregivers), healthcare service providers and patients connect together. Many times, right information at the right time and right place can save you from unnecessary troubles, trauma and wastage of hard earned money. It becomes even more important in the event of a medical emergency. If all your medical records are online and can be transferred to your caregiver in a town far away from your place, it may save you a sizeable chunk of money and countless hours spent in communication.
Nowadays, technology has advanced to a point, where it’s easy to optimize mHealth. Development of telecom sector has also provided flexibility, power and speed to these platforms. As far as existing infrastructure of mHealth is concerned, there are numerous mHealth apps available both for Android and iOS platforms. These apps use different software options.
Yes, there are certain stumbling blocks as well in the way of mHealth. Social, regulatory and economic factors have always acted as barriers to any such innovative concept. People aren’t quick to adopt it and government and other regulatory bodies are too slow to set firm guidelines for the regulation of such apps. There is a strong need for a regulatory framework, so that people with chronic, severe and critical illnesses can trust the system completely.
As far as statistics goes, less than 20% mobile users use a smart phone and out of these 20%, a whopping 80% of the mHealth apps are linked to commercial products and services such as weight loss, wellness and fitness. The trend of people with illnesses such as allergies, skin diseases, asthma, (and lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and hypertension) using these apps are much less common.
Mobile technologies are revolutionizing our lives and there is huge scope of these technologies in the healthcare sector, which is still running in a traditional way. There is a lot of confusion around it and people have very little authentic information about their illnesses and their treatment options. It results in people getting targeted by the “healthcare sharks”, which are busy spinning money from desperate people. A regulated healthcare ecosystem enriched with the power of mHealth can make life easier for millions of people.