In 2019, more and more medical professionals are using mobile devices to aid in the delivery of healthcare.
The Growing Use of Mobile Devices in Healthcare
Over the past decade, mobile devices have become ubiquitous in healthcare delivery. Figures from Skycure show that four out of five doctors use their mobile devices to assist with their everyday work. The use of mobile devices as part of healthcare delivery has many benefits and this is why 93% of medical professionals believe that mobile health apps can help to improve patients’ health.
The Rise of the mHealth Industry
The growing popularity of mobile devices in healthcare has given rise to the Mobile Health, or mHealth, industry. The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines mHealth as:
“medical and public health practice supported by mobile devices, such as mobile phones, patient monitoring devices, personal digital assistances and other wireless devices.”
Fuelled by innovation and increasing global connectivity, mHealth technology is growing at a fantastic rate. For example, in 2018, there were over 318,000 health apps available for download– almost double the number of apps on the top app stores in 2015. As such, the mobile healthcare technology market is enjoying enormous success and is projected to reach a value of €53 billion ($60bn) by 2020.
What are the Advantages for Healthcare?
Frees Up Resources
mHealth technology can be used to deliver awareness campaigns and useful tools that give patients more power to maintain and improve their health. This may help to free up valuable resources and space in hospitals so that urgent patients can get the attention they need.
It’s More Efficient
Paper-based systems are now being replaced with cloud-based paperless storage solutions. These make it easier for healthcare professionals to access, store and share patients’ electronic health records. This will boost the efficiency of administrative processes as records will not have to be physically transferred. In fact, 74% of hospitals that use mobile devices to collect information from patients are more efficient than those which don’t.
How Are Medical Professionals Using Mobile Devices?
“Just as the iPad has become the chosen form factor for clinicians today. I can definitely see a day when computing devices are more integrated into the clothing or body of the clinician.”
– Dr John Halamka, CIO, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
There is a dizzying array of apps that have been specifically developed to meet the unique needs of healthcare professionals. These have been to assist with a wide range of tasks, such as:
- Health record maintenance
- Time management
- Patient monitoring
- Information management
- Medical education and training
- Clinical decision-making
How Are Patients Using Mobile Technology?
Mobile devices and apps allow patients to become more active in looking after their health. This fosters better communication with healthcare professionals and increased awareness of their health in general. Some examples of how patients use mobile devices include:
- Health trackers
- Medication reminders
- Condition education and management
- Communicate with their doctor
- Access medical helplines
- Check symptoms
The Mobile Healthcare Opportunity in Developing Nations
At the start of 2019, approximately one billion people owned a phone, equalling 67% of the world’s population. The rate of mobile penetration is also high in low-income countries. For example, the 2016 World Development Report has highlighted that the poorest of households are more likely to have a mobile phone than a toilet. This indicates an enormous opportunity to enhance the accessibility of healthcare to inhabitants of the world’s most isolated, marginalised and poorly-resourced regions. mHealth technology has the potential to provide a relatively low-cost way to bridge the gap between people and healthcare services in these areas.
Powering Public Health Campaigns
“mHealth provides an important opportunity to explore how to take those interventions to scale, to deliver them in remote places, and to fundamentally change the access of whole populations to evidence-based interventions.”
- Karen Emmons, Associate Dean for Research, Harvard School of Public Health
In addition to providing useful tools to individual professionals and patients, mHealth technology can also be used to deliver public awareness and education campaigns. For example, it could be used by vaccination campaigns to mobilize communities. It could also be used to inform people about health dangers and conditions that are common in their area. Medical professionals can also use mobile devices to track epidemics and to share updates with inhabitants in the affected areas.
Find Out More
If you are interested in the subject of mobile healthcare devices and would like to learn more, then we would encourage you to read the below infographic from Home Healthcare Adaptations. This informative guide offers a good overview of the topic and covers a range of subjects including:
- Statistics about the rise of mHealth
- An outline of the different ways in which mobile devices are used in healthcare provision
- A list of the most frequently-used medical apps
- A summary of the benefits and concerns associated with the use of mobile apps in healthcare provision
Read the infographic below to find out more about the use of mobile devices in healthcare.
Follow this link to view.