A New Age For Healthcare
With the growing number of smartphone users all over the world, it is no surprise that many industries are opening and catering to mobile platforms. Banking, retail, education, and many other fields are now "going mobile."
Mobile healthcare or mHealth is the newest trend in the healthcare profession, one that promises to change the very core of how we deal with heath. It is giving us new ways to interact with healthcare providers and allowing us to take charge of our personal health.
The most prominent manifestation of mHealth is in apps. There are now a huge number of mobile apps that offer everything from fitness monitoring to health reminders. Fitness apps are so ubiquitous right now that manufacturers are making specialized equipment that can track heart rate, number of steps walked, and flights of stairs. Some even function as social networks for people trying to get fit.
There are also the apps dedicated to linking you with your healthcare professional. Many hospitals now offer their own apps, and some apps are made to track the symptoms of specific illnesses, sending them to your doctor for his or her review.
Beyond the App
But apps are just one of the manifestations of mHealth. There are many text and SMS-based reminder systems, which send notifications to people to take their pills or visit the doctor in a few days. One such system was implemented by Hahnemann Hospital, and it reduced patient readmission by 16%.
mHealth also covers the new field of having to analyze the glut of new data coming from the aforementioned apps. There are now new companies being setup that manage all this data, and AI is even getting into the mix.
In the future, a mix of app and non-app based systems will mix and leverage emerging technologies to better manage healthcare. Your phone will not only passively track what happens to you, but also actively maintain health and prevent emergencies.