The role of mobile technology in healthcare

archer mobile technology in healthcare

The healthcare system is moving little by little toward new samples of patients' maintenance based on combined care processes shared by different caregivers and on an authorized role of the patient. And mobile technologies are taking an emerging role in the healthcare industry. The biggest aspect of mHealth technology is to improve the quality of patient care and work processes that can benefit from mobile apps.

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The role of mobile technology in the healthcare industry is decisive as it can improve communication and refine the integration of care processes. mHealth can increase the productivity of healthcare producers, and therefore may even improve the productivity of the healthcare system. Concerning external relations of health care institutions, mHealth can strengthen the transparency and thus increase the accountability of health care providers and system, but it can also authorize patients. And the biggest prospect of mHealth is to enhance the quality of life and the correspondence of healthcare.

Mobile technology in healthcare has two major paths that are developing in parallel, at different speeds, which are influencing each other. First is the technology, devices, applications, and services for the treatment and care of patients, and the second is the systems and devices designed to monitor compliance with a healthy lifestyle (wellness) and fitness. You could say that the second path has a relatively weak relationship with medicine and health, and you would be right.

But, these two fields are slowly merging together. It would, therefore, be more correct to talk about healthcare or medicine, and the security of human health as they relate to mobile apps, and not just about technology. We can break up the industry for this type of device into 3 parts. 

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Devices for maintaining a healthy lifestyle

The market for devices and applications for fitness and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is developing much faster than the slower-growing mHealth. This is because the healthcare industry is very conservative. New products and services become available only after numerous tests, clinical studies, and levels of approvals from various agencies. These strict requirements are not required for fitness devices to find their way to the consumer. According to the survey, which was carried out by Accenture, 43% of consumers worldwide want to buy a device to monitor their physical activity and physical condition.

Wearable technologies

It may not be strictly accurate to refer to the wearable technology market as mHealth, but it is very closely related to the scope of devices for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. This means that it is often impossible to understand what to include in this or that device. The list of products in this category include smartwatches and sunglasses, 3D trackers (to track throws in basketball or the effects of collisions during American football, etc.), or wearable cameras.

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Devices to monitor health to diagnosis and care for patients

According to many pieces of research, this market will be an $8 billion USD market by 2019. This category includes mHealth:

  • Monitoring for patients heart, blood pressure, glucose levels, brain function, sleep, etc;
  • Multiparameter Monitoring System;
  • Systems for remote interaction with doctors;
  • Handheld, implantable and ingestible sensors for various vital signs;
  • Diagnostic systems and quick analysis (blood, saliva, urine, respiratory, etc.);
  • Systems to care for the elderly, chronically ill and children;
  • Applications for health monitoring, to control the use of drugs, treatment planning, and training systems.

Any developing the industry has adherents and opponents.

Read also: How to develop a Hospital Management System?

Pros and cons of mobile technology in healthcare

The prospects of mobile in healthcare are not so easy. The significant issue is finding healthy business models for new devices and services. The business model is fine when the agency or organization that pays for mHealth technology is able to cut potential savings. And the savings will not surely return directly to those who would pay for mobile health technologies.

That’s why mobile health experiments in Africa and the rest of the developing world often stop when the grants that funded them run out. This problem is most keen on fee-for-service healthcare systems like that of the US, where mHealth requires cash investment of hospitals, doctors, lab-testing companies, and pharmaceutical companies.

The other major challenge is the security issues. It's hard to guarantee that client’s health data can remain safe. Many people think consumer wariness about privacy can be a barrier to the acceptance of mHealth, and others say that data privacy risks are their biggest concern.

Except for these issues, there are other different problems. Executives are afraid that patients may misinterpret their data and make wrong decisions. Companies concern that the government will effort to support the fast rate of technological innovations, that will lead to durable delays before new devices are approved. In developing countries, people learn to use prepaid phone numbers that make it hard to contact them by text or email.

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There is a specific area where mobile health apps can assist individuals who were found in the emergency room. A mHealth application is able to store important information about a patient’s surgery, shunt, or medical device installed, medical history, and vital notifications. It is vital in the emergency room because patients, for example, with hydrocephalus and a shunt installed in their brain could have health issues related to the failures of the medical device.

Having a mobile health app that can offer assistance to the healthcare provider by detailing everything they need to know about previous operations and medical devices installed is a major advancement for this particular patient population. Sometimes patients needing an MRI, showing up to an appointment, and not knowing whether their shunt was compatible with an MRI machine.

Using the mHealth app helps the imaging professionals to see whether the patient could undergo the MRI screening without any problems or whether to hold off on this particular test.

Read also: How to build a virtual nurse app like Sensely?

Mobile health applications and devices are really making a great impact in the healthcare industry, as they may even be able to diagnose disease and prevent the probability of developing dangerous medical circumstances like heart disease or diabetes.

Most healthcare organizations, doctors, and patients are already using smartphones or tablets for work or personal use, and have online access to EMR data from their devices. mHealth allows healthcare professionals to upgrade their work and provide higher services and refine the treatment for patients.

Our software development history offers a bunch of successfully beneficial cooperations with such companies as Medoc, RimedPixcell where we took care of all the common routines like UI development, Business Logic layer and APIs updates, integration and updating hardware connectivity layer, technical documentation, auto-tests support and other, while the client team focused on research and science part of the project which helped them cover their strategic plan faster and with much less “technical debt” in project codebase.

The above critical points of development are often accompanied by the concern about effective and professional security measures while implementing and testing products.

We have a broad experience working with products highly focused on data and processing security. Implementing it via specific security-oriented measures while building the product sub-systems intercommunication, data storing and processing activities, setting up and updating infrastructure, we also have a group of approved QA techniques dedicated to indication and covering various potential vulnerabilities.

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