Health care is a primary component of any society, both economically and socially. With the advent of the virtual communication era (broadband, mobiles, etc.), the health care sector is continuously looking for new ways to evolve and reach out to its consumers. One area the health care sector is focusing on today is the use of mobile health technology applications.
Consider these stats, according to CNET, there were five billion handsets, as compared to 1 billion PCs in 2010. In 2011, 85% of the handsets had accessed the Internet and one in every five users had access to 3G internet services. Clearly, doctors across the world are compelled to make use of mobile health technology because of its reach and ease. With voice and data transfer tools that help in connecting with people, information can be transferred to the remotest parts of the world at affordable rates. According to the WEF India Economic Summit, the global mobile healthcare technology market is expected to grow 25% annually, from $1.5 billion in 2012 to $4.6 billion by 2014.
Benefits of Using Mobile Health Technology
Using mobile health technology applications, a patient can send his ECG data to his doctor sitting miles away, people can gather information on different topics, from sexually transmitted diseases to blood pressure, from the comfort of their home. Not only will this improve the communication between patients and doctors, it will also let patients become more aware about their health conditions. For example, there are currently apps that provide dental care information or heart care information as well as information regarding medications suited for these conditions. Some of the major benefits of using mobile heath technology for the health care sector include:
• Better information flow between patients and health care providers: With the advent of mobile health technology, critical patient information can now reach doctors much faster via mobile apps. Regular flow of information helps doctors keep track of patients’ condition and also helps in preventing any unforeseen disease. Patients can receive inputs on their health condition and further medication updates, which can be used by them to adjust their treatment regimen.
• Wireless monitoring of health profile: There are some applications that help track vital signs, such as ECG, heart rate, respiratory rate, blood sugar, blood pressure, etc. These applications come with wireless sensors that are particularly useful for the elderly because they save seniors the effort of going physically to the hospital every week.
• Emergency conditions: Some applications send important updates that help medical technicians gather vital information before they arrive on the scene. This can be particularly useful in case of an emergency because it gives the technicians some extra time to think about the possible treatment options.
• Standardization of public health data: Using mobile health technology, doctors and health care providers get quick and increased information on disease outbreaks and disease management. This helps health care providers in properly managing their tasks and also in improving the quality of service provided to the patient.
• Cost effective: Using mobile health technology, patients can track their progress and manage their own health care at a reduced cost. It saves health care providers the hassle of maintaining continuous records and checking them for updates, since this information can now be directly received on their mobile phones.
The social and economic benefits of mobile health technology are immense. The use of mobile health technology would not only help the health care providers in finding information fast but would also help patients gain better insight about their health condition. With the advent of new apps, the health care sector is set to provide the satisfaction and efficiency to consumers that it always wanted.