The healthcare industry is going through so many changes with the advancement of technology. The use of mobile devices by health care professionals has transformed many aspects of clinical practice. Mobile devices have become common in health care settings, leading to fast growth in the development of medical software applications for these platforms.Numerous apps are now available to assist health care professionals with many important tasks, such as information and time management; health record maintenance and access; communications and consulting; reference and information gathering; patient management and monitoring; clinical decision-making; and medical education and training.
What is mHealth?
mHealth (mobile health) is a general term for the use of mobile phones and other wireless technology in medical care. The most common application of mHealth is the use of mobile devices to educate consumers about preventive healthcare services. However, mHealth is also used for disease surveillance, treatment support, epidemic outbreak tracking, and chronic disease management.
Advantages of mHealth
For consumers, a major benefit of mHealth is its convenience. Wearable devices and other mobile technology allow users to continuously track and manage certain health data without having to see their healthcare provider. mHealth can also help bridge gaps in care by allowing patients to communicate with their physician or care team and vice versa without meeting face to face. Secure messaging, for example, allows physicians to alert parents when their child is out of surgery. It also allows healthcare providers to communicate with each other about patients — for example, letting a nurse know when a patient has arrived for an appointment.
Medical applications are essential for both doctors and patients. There are so many medical requirements that can be satisfied with the help of these applications. These applications have eliminated all the complex process of the health care sector that was not worth it for a customer. The struggle and time it used to consume for all the manual workers are not replaced by these applications. The medical and healthcare application has made the life of anyone related to the healthcare industry a lot easier.
Disadvantages of mHealth
One disadvantage of mHealth apps is that their privacy policies may lag behind those of other apps. Even when privacy policies are present, users may not always read them, which can lead to a lack of understanding of how vendors or other parties use their health data. Additionally, not all mHealth apps are compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, meaning there is no guarantee that a user’s health information will be protected or that users will be notified if there is a data breach.
Another potential drawback of mHealth apps is that their information may not be accurate. Data Privacy is at the top. All the data is stored online which makes it easy for people to hack it and put it at risk. It requires data protocols and standards so that the transmission done in real-time can be secure. Some apps claim to be able to measure blood pressure by having the user press their finger on a screen or camera, but there is little research to support this claim.
The impact of using mobile and web applications in the healthcare industry
Doctors and nurses can now coordinate better with the patient about the diagnosis, medication and the follow-up process. They can also monitor whether the patient has understood the instructions properly. This point-of-care coordination is making a huge difference in patient recovery and decreasing the number of re-admissions. It is streamlining the process between inpatient and outpatient care.
Phones, tablets, and wearables are being used to take regular vitals and keep logs on patients. Doctors and nurses can check up on the patient directly using mobile devices which can show how to administer a procedure. Providers can even teach family members the different aspects of patient care using mobile communication apps. Through the use of mobile devices, healthcare providers are taking a more active role in guiding their patients in the right direction. It has been helpful in improving the quality of care dramatically.
Mobile and web applications can be used to maintain healthcare records for effective collaboration between doctors, insurance companies and patients. Since these records are being stored on shared hosting services so it can be accessed from anywhere and it is unlikely that you would lose your records.
When an insurance company maintains medical records of patients on mobile and web applications then these can be shared between medical practitioners. If a patient is prescribed a treatment then the patient can claim this record through the application and the company can request the verification of prescription in real-time and settle the claims within 24 hours. The approach will not only improve the service for patients but it will increase the number associated with medical partners.
Medicines and medical kits expire in Inventories of hospitals even when they could be consumed earlier instead of the stock that has a longer expiry date. The expiring stock reflects huge loses on balance sheets and increasing their expense. The use of mobile and web applications for inventory management in hospitals can help to reduce the operational costs of hospitals and provides them with the opportunity to offer healthcare services at a highly competitive price.
Even in the field of medical education, mobile devices are replacing bulky medical textbooks. Health care professionals can rapidly access information from their portable devices. They don’t have to waste time running to the library or carrying heavy medical books around. Students can find books, guidelines, reviews, and new medical literature and journals conveniently from their smart-phones.
On the other hand, doctors and patients can share information without the need for physical meetings. With the advent of telemedicine apps, video conferencing is now possible.
Types of Mobile Healthcare Application
Medical and healthcare industry is rapidly increasing and adopting new technology. Here are the few types of healthcare mobile application:
- Clinical support apps
- Effectiveness/communication apps
- Universal capability information apps
- Healthy life apps
- Monitoring apps
- Patient portal apps
- Reference/database apps
- Reminder apps
- Specialty apps
- Super apps