Have you prescribed mHealth app yet? No…Soon you may. Mobile Health is one of the most rapidly mounting fields of digital health. Due to its increased access and higher potential it is becoming popular in both the segments – consumers and healthcare professionals. The explosion of mobile devices and digital health and wellness applications are revolutionizing the way healthcare industry provide services, as well as how consumers take it. And, due to a range of mHealth initiatives across the world, industry specialist and analysts are expecting that the global digital health and wellness market is expected to grow to US$12 million, in the years ahead.
Since, mobile health applications are intensely expanding its reach and efficacy by facilitating healthcare industry especially consumers in their daily tasks, such as taking prescription of drugs from clinicians, tracking their health issues, and managing their health and wellness information. Many mHealth apps currently in the market helps in tracking and collecting information by way of smartphone app, phone, computer, and wireless monitors. And, for health and wellness apps the tracked variables include food, blood-sugar and other medications. With the help of these apps, healthcare professionals amalgamate the information collected and transform into a clinical recommendations. Apart from helping in taking clinical recommendations, these apps also allows its users to make real-time feedback from the patient, recommending them as per their health conditions, such as, recommends the consumers what to eat if their blood sugar or pressure level is too low. mHealth apps are spanning its wings in every industry verticals of healthcare industry. Let’s take a look on a few popular verticals of health apps:
Awareness Apps – To educate consumers and promote health awareness among them by providing tailored tips and information. And, for this category of apps articles, tips, podcast, videos etc., on diets, exercises, everyday habits, research results etc., work as a channel between consumer and healthcare professionals.
Care Support– To help patients in basic diagnosis of illness, let them know its clinical care and maintain their records etc.
Monitoring and Advising– To support and advice patients by providing appointments, medications and precautions etc.
Quick Emergency Medical Response– To provide proper and quick assistance to patients with necessary care during emergencies, accidents and disasters.
Policies and Insurance– To share policy related information on the app and help them in enabling claims and reimbursements etc.
Medicines and Pharmacy– To facilitate drug manufacturers by assisting their customers in ordering medicines, reminder alerts etc.
Yes, Mobile apps are the future…
While mobile healthcare and wellness apps are thriving, both by consumers and providers, but its early phase yet for healthcare industry. Mobile Health has a huge potential in healthcare industry much beyond what we are beholding today. And, for consumers, expansion in Mobile health apps will provide more accessibility and control over better management of their health.
A Few Stats – According to a PWC survey – ‘’64% of doctors believe mHealth market to be full of exciting possibilities in the days ahead’’. A study commissioned by Telenor Group and the Boston Consulting Group in first quarter of 2012 revealed that – ‘’30% of smartphone users are likely to use “wellness apps” by 2015 and mobile is the most popular technology among doctors since the stethoscope’’. The survey further revealed- ‘’costs in elderly care can be reduced by 25% while maternal and prenatal mortality expenses can be reduced by as much as 30% through mobile solutions’’. As per a recent PwC Global Healthcare survey, 59% of the consumers using mHealth services reported that these services have reduced the number of visits to the doctor.
However, technology advancement has resulted in many ground-breaking technologies including Wearable Tech, Smart Watches and Google Glass etc., which are also expected to share appreciation of innovation and usage in Healthcare industry. And, as the technology further advances and benefits become more evident, we will see more advanced usage of these technologies.