What Is mHealth Technology?
Regardless of whether you know what is an mHealth app or not, it is everywhere. It is in a chatbot that helps patients recovering from cancer prevent a recurrence. It is in a blood test management app where patients store their blood test results. It is in a mobile drug information database, which people use to read instructions to a certain medicine. Growing more serious, mHealth reached the scope of the World Health Organization. Recently, the WHO developed an app to facilitate elderly care in developing countries.
OneRemission is a chatbot-based mobile application. It is a one-of-a-kind solution in the Integrative Oncology field, which brings cancer survivor care to a new level. It is a bright example of how mHealth technology saves lives.
In general, mHealth technology comprises all the mobile software tools that facilitate or optimize medical and self-care. And there are a lot of them. Yet, the average quality is beyond satisfactory.
What Are the Advantages of Mobile Technology in Healthcare?
Mobile health technology grants users freedom. The freedom to choose the most suitable healthcare provider, the freedom to learn about diseases or treatments, the freedom to keep track of their health. With a mobile device in their pocket, patients do not have to stand in line to schedule an appointment. They do not have to pile up medical papers as all the information is stored in a mobile healthcare platform. They do not have to adjust their schedule for meeting with a doctor as they can contact them anytime via a telehealth system.
Mobile health applications can be integrated with IoT. The era of visiting a doctor to record the electrocardiogram or to measure blood pressure is almost over. This need is fully substituted with opportunities provided by wearable technology. Fitness trackers now measure heart rate, blood pressure, breath pace, and even sleep quality. All the vital healthcare data can and should be stored in your phone once integrated with the IoT solution.
The brightest example of it is Apple with its AppleWatch. Yes, it does hold the top place in this market. But it does not mean that the niche is full. There are plenty of opportunities to break into this market segment. For example, you may develop a mobile solution for the elderly, which would track not only their vitals but also movement. In case of an emergency, the system would inform caretakers and the nearest ambulance.
In the meantime, mobile technology helps healthcare providers optimize their business processes. It helps to reduce bureaucracy, improve customer relationships management, or optimize data management. It can be used to improve the performance of the HR Department, Marketing Department, or Finance & Accounting Department. The number of opportunities of mHealth apps usage in hospital administration is countless.
Here goes the example of a Hospital Marketing Administration System. It is a web-based application that facilitates the job of a front-desk assistant, a marketing specialist, and a business consultant. Why not to make this app mobile and use the benefits of mobile health technology?
What Are the Risks?
The first and foremost risk is too much patient freedom. Referring back to the benefits of mHealth, I have mentioned freedom as the number one advantage. Yet, measure is a treasure. Some users may think that they do not need a doctor anymore. They can google all the symptoms and treatments, buy medicines online, or go for traditional healing. Such a misconception is particularly risky because self-medication can be dangerous. While people try to give themselves diagnosis or to cure their alleged disease with improper medicine, they lose valuable time. In worst-case scenario, they can worsen their health condition with harmful treatment.
Another challenge is the lack of medical expertise. When you hire a software development agency with no knowledge or experience in healthcare software development, the quality of your future app will suffer a lot. And so will your budget because the research stage, as well as testing and debugging, will take by a few times more time.
Besides, I never get tired of repeating that data safety is the most serious mHealth challenge. No patient wants their health information to be spilled. It is often a very sensitive data. The leakage of it is bound to cause serious issues with reputation and mental well-being. For more about how patient privacy is ensured, read our recent article on Healthcare Data Security.
To Wrap Up
What is mobile healthcare technology? Mobile healthcare technology is the future. As mobile devices grow faster and more powerful, the applications that they use will become more sophisticated and useful. The opportunities are countless – the sky is the limit for your ideas.
Are there benefits of mobile devices in healthcare that you can think of?
Do you have an idea for a mobile health app?
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