Due to the advancement of modern technology, patients now have more options than ever, to quickly access inexpensive diagnoses, and in turn, appropriate treatments. One such option, Mobile Health (mHealth) technology, works to improve modern healthcare through the wireless integration of mobile devices with sensor based hardware. Cutting edge technologies like IoT and custom mobile app development have eased and transformed the Healthcare and wellness solutions in multiple ways.
With this implementation, patients can experience better communication with health practitioners, monitor conditions over longer periods of time, and easily access and provide crucial medical information. Not only does this make healthcare services more widely accessible, but improves a patient’s overall experience, in terms of speed and efficiency.
How Does mHealth Influence Healthcare?
We at Let’s Nurture, are privileged to have catered custom and robust mHealthcare solutions so far. With our experience, we can understand there has been huge implications of mHealthcare solutions in the healthcare and well industry. As it stands, the global health market is forecast to grow in value, to almost $60 billion by the year 2020, and the most influential factor in this is the use of, and rapid advance in mobile devices and technologies. According to a recent survey, 84% of care providers use mobile devices for post-discharge support, 93% of physicians believe mHealth technology can help improve a patient’s health, while 40% believe it can reduce the number of of office visits, and 74% of hospitals that collect data from mobile devices run more efficiently than those that don’t.
The 5 Different Types of mHealth Platforms
Mobile Healthcare apps can be broken up into 5 different categories that cover each of their basic functions, like monitoring, communication, and even wellness.
For starters, Telemedicine Apps are designed with communication in mind, as approximately 75% of all medical visits, including urgent care and ER, are largely unnecessary, or could be dealt with just as efficiently over the phone or via video call. By eliminating the need to make a trip to the hospital, or the local doctor’s office, healthcare services become more convenient and accessible to patients, saving them time and money in the process. With all that said, it begs the question of whether or not patients even want to use this technology. A recent survey discovered that 48% of patients expressed interest for chronic disease monitoring, 49% for post-surgery care, 32% for minor injuries, and 36% for while they were traveling. To accomplish this, a prime example would be the Amwell app, a 24 hour access to video and messaging services, connected to experienced healthcare practitioners. Not only can patients see which practitioners are available, but be connected with one in three minutes or less.
Personal Health Record Apps
In the case of patient information, Deloitte claims that 74% of patients have to provide their info multiple times when dealing with multiple professionals. This can easily be eliminated with Shared health-related data, and allow doctors to focus more on their patients’ care, rather than collecting their info. The second category, Personal Health Record Apps, allows users to store, edit, and share their health data with healthcare practitioners, while seamlessly accessing their own electronic health records on the go. One example, Capzule PHR, accomplishes this in addition to adding family members, managing health records, setting calendar reminders and offering a visualization of previously collected data. In addition to this, Apple’s own health app allows users to store information like medication and lab results directly on their mobile device. This further eliminates the step of logging into a providers website by keeping all information in one, easy-access location.
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Remote Health Monitoring Apps
When it comes to chronic health conditions, the third category, Remote Health Monitoring Apps, are vital for keeping a watchful eye on various health metrics. This could include blood sugar levels, blood pressure, heart rate, body temperature, and even body weight, without the need for a trip to the hospital. A company called ChronicCareIQ has created an app that also includes a medical questionnaire of sorts, allowing patients to answer questions specific to their condition and giving doctor’s more information to analyze remotely. In the world of health monitoring technology, diabetes specific apps make up 16% of apps already developed, and allow diabetes patients to monitor their blood sugar, body weight, and even their medications. Additionally, the App Glucose Buddy Diabetes Tracker even includes access to health trends among the diabetes community, providing more insight to and empowering, the patient with information, without the need of a doctor.
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Keeping track of your medications is a helpful feature, but remembering to take them is an entirely different story, and one that doesn’t always go as planned. Forgetfulness is the number one reason patients don’t take the medications prescribed to them and so, the fourth category, reminder apps, become extremely useful, even extending to setting reminders for things like doctor’s appointments, ensuring patients never miss a day or a dosage. Medisafe’s Pill & Med Reminder app also includes a push notification feature, automatically notifying patients of an upcoming dosage, as well as dosage and progress monitoring. This information can then be shared with the patient’s doctor for further analysis. It is even vital to for parents to remember vaccination dates for the children. We can also help in vaccination reminder applications with number of features that also include doctors and parents engagement and health data sharing platform for Android and iOS devices.
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Wellness applications and Devices
Finally, more and more people are getting interested in wellness applications and devices, including fitness, lifestyle and nutrition trackers. The IMS institute’s Patient Adoption of mHealth Report shows that mHealth apps targeting wellness make up two thirds of all mHealth apps. These applications are mainly used to track exercise, nutrition, and general activity levels, while providing things such as training programs and nutrition guides to help with reaching future goals. More often than not, these apps require another wearable device in order to gather data, which is then all stored in one place on the users mobile phone.
What Challenges Come with Developing an mHealth App?
If you are looking to develop an mHealth app, what is most likely to get in your way is privacy concerns, laws and regulations. As shown by the Deloitte 2016 Survey of US Health Care Consumers, patients are worried that the quality of mobile health services simply won’t measure up to a physical visit to the doctor. Therefore, your main concerns will be:
- Building Trust – Patients currently just don’t trust mHealth apps, specifically the security of them and the quality of services they provide, so building communal trust in these systems is a must for them to be adopted into the healthcare system.
- Privacy and Security – Everything has pros and cons, and the pros of digital transformation open up industries to the cons of cyber attack vulnerabilities. To counter this, focus should be primarily on tools and technology that enhance data security.
- Compliance With Healthcare Legislation – Regulations on protecting personal health information differ from country to country and, just like any app that handles sensitive information, mHealth apps must comply with these laws. For example, the US follows the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which governs how personal health information is collected, stored, and moved. Therefore, apps targeting the American market must be developed around these laws.
What Trends Are There in mHealth?
The main trends in mHealth app development are Blockchain Technology, Artificial Intelligence AI, and the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT). Blockchain technology is being adopted across various industries due to its high potential for safe, secure medical data storage and movement. However, as CB Insights notes, it’s still very early for blockchain applications in healthcare, and unlocking it’s potential won’t be a quick process. The use of AI in healthcare is greater than in any other industry, its main advantage being that while data is being gathered, it can process, and analyze enormous amounts of it. Future AI may even be able to diagnose patients based on their medical data and symptoms on top of the work they already do to manage and organize health records. As an example, Google has even announced that it is taking DeepMind Health, and using it to turn DeepMind’s Streams app into “an AI-powered assistant for nurses and doctors.
Finally, the IoMT allows for communication between medical devices in order to exchange health-related data gathered from various tracking devices, allowing doctor’s to monitor patients remotely. The Apple Watch for example, can monitor a user’s heart rate, alerting them if it’s higher or lower than normal. This data is then stored on the iPhone’s Health app for later use by a healthcare practitioner.
Why Let’s Nurture is Ideal Tech Partner for mHealthcare Solutions Development?
Let’s Nurture is an ISO 9001:2015 certified custom mobile app development company having offices in India, USA, UK, Canada, Australia and Singapore. Leveraging expertise of our in-house web developers, Android developers, iOS developers with cross-platform development abilities, we have delivered varied mHealthcare solutions for healthcare and wellness industry.
If you want to know more about our robust and innovative ideas which can improve patient experience, then why wait? Get in touch now with our healthcare solutions experts with free initial consultation and hire dedicated developers for swift project development.