Mobile health technology is not just the future of medical care, it’s a future that has arrived in full force. Mobile healthcare has become extremely popular among healthcare providers, health systems, and consumers.
In the past year, the benefits of mobile devices in healthcare became abundantly clear during the global pandemic. Lockdowns and restrictions required people to maintain a physical distance from each other, even during medical consultations. mHealth is now firmly cemented as a viable way of delivering care and improving patient experiences.
What Is mHealth?
mHealth is the utilization of wireless networks and mobile devices, such as mobile phones, tablets, and intelligent virtual assistants, to support medicine and public health. These devices are used to track, monitor, or deliver health-related services. It includes everything from fitness trackers, menstrual cycle monitors, diabetes monitors, and blood pressure trackers, to video consultations with doctors and medication adherence applications.
Within digital health, mHealth encompasses all applications of telecommunications and multimedia technologies for the delivery of healthcare services and health information.
Numbers You Should Know
The world increasingly relies on mobile technology, and the medical field can leverage this reliance to improve services, wellness checks, and provide care to people with limited access. Below are statistics illustrating the trends in mobile health.
Top Five Benefits of Mobile Health Devices in Healthcare
1. Quicker Access to Care
Delivery of care is one of the biggest obstacles to ensuring everyone has access to medical care. This is especially true for people living in rural or low-income areas. Many people are frustrated by the need to call for appointments, fill out mounds of paperwork, take time off work, and other inconveniences of traditional medical care.
mHealth provides a solution to these problems. Patients have access to their mobile health applications 24/7 that allows them to quickly schedule appointments, telemedicine visits and consultations, send paperwork, and secure messages to their providers in the comfort of their own homes.
Telemedicine already exists, and healthcare providers have successfully used it to write prescriptions for urgent care situations, counsel patients, provide aftercare instructions, and other matters that don’t require an in-person visit. Telephone, video conferencing, and chat applications also extend to psychotherapy and addiction counseling. Access to care for all is the ultimate goal and mHealth technology can make it a reality.
2. Improves Medication Adherence
Medication adherence is one of the most damning aspects of an inefficient healthcare system. According to the World Health Organization, “increasing the effectiveness of adherence interventions may have a far greater impact on the health of the population than any improvement in the specific medical treatments.” The lack of adherence leads to increased preventable deaths and costs $100 billion per year. Mayo Clinic found that “50% of patients with chronic illnesses don’t take their medications as prescribed.” Poor medication management leads to readmissions, poor health outcomes, and increased health care costs.
There are medication apps that are dedicated to countering this issue. For instance,