What is mHealth?
mHealth enables smartphones and tablets (basically any mobile device) to analyse and gather health data in a highly efficient manner. It facilitates faster and better treatment for and can lead to early diagnosis for patients and users of the technology. mHealth also incorporates PDA’s, smart watches and other body-worn devices or implants. These devices are enabling healthcare professionals to gather massive amounts of data that can facilitate the improvement of:
- Health Monitoring
- Daily Activity
Using this data, doctors can make informed decisions about patients health, facilitating more accurate diagnoses and optimal treatment. Patients can now take control of their own health with the ability to access medical records and receive reminders about scheduled medication. As patients shift towards mHealth solutions, this could dramatically decrease the number of people in doctors waiting rooms, creating massive time savings for healthcare professionals. Health bodies are becoming increasingly motivated to adopt mHealth technologies in order to save time and money.
Why is mHealth important?
There are many benefits associated with mHealth adoption including:
- Early diagnosis and better treatment solutions
- Increased prevention
- Empowering patients to improve health and lifestyle
It’s estimated that healthcare professionals could save 30% of their time spent on analysing and accessing patient health data. The mHealth phenomenon is helping to create a more efficient and sustainable healthcare industry.
How big is the market for mHealth?
The market for mHealth is being driven and sustained by over 6 billion web connected devices. It’s estimated that by the year 2020, there will be 20 billion web connected devices globally. It’s forecasted that by 2017, the global market value for mHealth will reach $17.6 billion. There are already nearly 100,000 mHealth apps available to download. Approximately 70% of these apps target consumers and focus on fitness and health, with 30% used to target health professionals. By 2017, there will be 3.5 billion people who own a smartphone globally and over 50% will use a health app.
What are the barriers to mHealth adoption?
Bridging the gap between technology and healthcare is not always easy. There’s a lack of knowledge amongst technologists and device manufacturers with regards to the legal frameworks surrounding mHealth. There’s also an issue of fragmentation, as many manufacturers seek to develop many different devices across various platforms and operating systems. Other issues include fears over data protection, trust and the safety of mHealth adoption.
Mobile app development for the Healthcare industry
Waracle has been developing pioneering mobile apps and mHealth technology for some of the worlds largest healthcare companies. These apps enable companies such as Imperial College London to deliver personalised medicine schedules to trial participants and prompt them each time their medicine is due. They also provide helpful information and journal-style diary entries to help keep track of trial progress. Gamification techniques are applied to reward the user for continued trial participation. If you’re interested in developing mobile apps for healthcare, contact Waracle today to start the discussion.