Mobile health systems are a form of e-health that uses mobile devices such as cell phones and PDAs (personal digital assistants) to offer easy health care services and the latest information to an entire community. Computers, cell phones, satellites, and patient monitoring devices are playing a key role establishing this system. A mobile health care system obtains clinical health data from the community with the help of mobile devices, delivers clinical information to the health care providers, researchers, and patients, and monitors the vital signs of the patients through mobile telemedicine.
The introduction of communication devices into the health care system has offered an enhanced effective approach of patient record access to health care providers and health care facilities. Mobile health services provide more efficient tasks, processes, and patients’ care. However, there are many obstacles to face for health care providers that cover rural areas of developing countries due to the lack of telecommunication technology services. In the beginning, mobile health systems were designed for industrialized countries. As time progresses, mobile health is spreading and emerging in developing countries as rapid telecommunication penetration occurs in these countries. This increases demand for high-speed technology to provide health services to a wider area of population.
Benefits of Mobile Health:
A wide range of benefits are offered by the mobile health care systems. Escalating health challenges and price issues has led to the increased adoption of mobile health. The following benefits show the importance and penetration of mobile health.
• Mobile services such as mobile phones, Internet, and electronic media offer seamless and secure access to the health services.
• Telecommunication technologies have made health services cost effective.
• Fast health educations through telecommunication devices play an important role to provide knowledge about health conditions, and their proper prevention and management.
• The ability to provide health services to anyone, anytime, and everywhere eliminating the obstacles coming in the way of its working.
• With the help of mobile devices, health care providers can access and assess the medical history, labs, treatment record, insurance information, and medical care provision connecting to the institutions’ internal network.
Open Issues with Mobile Health:
Several issues are slowing adaptation of mobile health care systems in the community. Appropriate solution of these obstacles can assist in developing an exemplary health care system.
• Lacking coverage of reliable wireless and mobile networks
• Limitations for hand-held telecommunication devices
• Issues regarding the interference with other medical devices
• Concerns regarding patient privacy and security of records
Benefits of mobile health can be multiplied if the above-mentioned issues are resolved. Proper mobile and wireless networking, skillful training of health care providers for pervasive health, and security issues of the patients, helping with legal and regulatory issues, and easy and low-price health services can cause a mini-revolution in the fields of telecommunication and health services.