Mobile phones have opened our avenues to various industries, from finance, to retail, to hospitality and now even healthcare. This is the reason why mHealth apps have been on the rise lately.
mHealth is an abbreviation for mobile health. The term is typically used for the practice of medicine and public health supported by mobile devices. Mobile health apps, such as fitness trackers, allow people to collect health data about fitness, nutrition, and more.
The term is most commonly used in reference to using mobile communication devices, such as mobile phones, tablet computers and wearable devices such as smart watches, for health services, information, and data collection.
Here are some of the benefits of mHealth apps-
Better Coordination of healthcare providers with their patients
Earlier doctors, nurses and other healthcare practitioners used to contact/ consult their patients only once, but now the tables have turned. Fortunately, due to the mHealth apps, patients can contact their doctors, anytime, from any corner of the world, without any hesitance.
They can coordinate medical prescriptions or even physiotherapy routines with their patients, according to the latter’s development or lack of thereof.
mHealth apps use our smartphone devices to collect our health related data. This leads to accumulation of much valuable and chronological data. This data, if used properly, can prove to be a diamond mine for scientific research, insurance companies or to even develop new drugs. They may be used to change humanity forever.
mHealth for Caregivers and Family
Not only professional healthcare practitioners but informal ones like our family members can use the data collected or the stats to prevent any potential future disease from the preliminary symptoms.
Family members can keep a tab on fellow family members, especially the old ones, via mHealth apps as well.
Enhances physician efficiency
Physicians have emphasized on the mental stress they feel on job time in and time out. Their working conditions are indeed stressful and it might impact their diagnosis. Phones and tablets might help them solve problems faster with less stress.
Physicians can use mobile devices to record patient history with minimal errors. These devices provide better access to latest drug information and thus help make better decisions.
These apps also automates a lot of paperwork and thus frees up a physician’s time. Doctors can now have every patients’ information faster, so they would have to spend less time and effort providing the same level of care. Overall, the use of mobile devices in healthcare has improved physician performance and ensured better patient care.
Enhances diagnostic accuracy
Keeping paper records was cumbersome, erroneous and a logistical nightmare. Being automated decreases several errors in diagnosis and while making stats. Automation that has come through the use of softwares and apps has helped in decreasing the burden of not only the doctors but of several people for instance the people who make reports, store data, etc.
Another way how automation can help is while taking prescriptions. Doctors and nurses are able to keep accurate and descriptive notes. But they are notorious for their ineligible handwriting which often makes people buy the wrong medicines! Mobile apps can run automatic checks on prescriptions and decisions and thus reduce prescription errors. As bedside tools, these devices are helping recognize causes and symptoms of pathogens and infectious diseases faster.
It is not just mHealth apps but the universalization of high end technology devices that has eased our lives. Instead of carrying around bulky books, health care professionals can rapidly access information from their portable devices. They don’t have to waste time in finding the relevant text, they can just ‘search’ it on their devices. This was from the point of view of the medical practitioner.
mHealth apps have also increased the convenience of patients as well. Doctors and patients can share information without meeting each other physically. This is especially useful when the patient is too ill to come up to meet the doctor.
Improved communication is an obvious benefit of the use of mobile devices in healthcare. Doctors and nurses can inspect the patient’s condition indepth using high resolution HD cameras. Regular real-time communication between provider and patients also builds rapport.
The use of mobile devices in healthcare not only improves the doctor-patient relationship, it also promotes collaboration, consulting and sharing of knowledge globally. Experts from round the globe can consult each other in real-time to learn and share. This kind of productive usage benefits the patients.
Mobile technology is not only changing our daily routines, it is also changing the way we heal. Integrating healthcare with technology has both, positive and negative sides. For instance, using them without proper standards can lead to unsafe practices and breach of patient privacy.
Sooner or later, healthcare service providers will have to implement a strategy to keep the quality of service high while keeping the patients safe.
Anyway, at any point of time, potential benefits are greater than the negativeness involved. Proper and robust mHealth apps have great potential as they will be more in demand in the near future.
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