Healthcare News & Insights

Spike in mobile app use by clinicians & consumers fuels market

Anyway you look at it, healthcare providers are finding ways to use smartphones and mobile devices to enhance patient quality and care, and cut costs. 

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Patients want the accessibility of their medical information and health tracking with them wherever they go. Those who manage and monitor their own health are less likely to ‘run to the doctor’ for every ache and pain, and over-use costly healthcare resources.

That’s why the use of mobile health (m-health) and fitness apps spiked this year, over 87% faster than the entire app industry.

What’s trending in the m-health market:

Here are some top trends in mHealth, reported by Becker Hospital Review.

  • Patients are actively tracking and managing their health.  More than 100,000 mHealth apps are currently available on the iOS and Android platforms, double the number that were available in 2012.  Apps and wearable sensors are available to consumers to measure heart and respiratory rates, body temperature and help them make better health choices.
  • Clinicians can access patient information. mHealth offers physicians an avenue to instantly monitor their patients’ health like checking electronic health records or locating a patient’s lab report.
  • Top concern:  HIPPA compliance and data security. The use of mobile devices opens users up to heightened security risks. Mobile devices aren’t equipped with the same encryption capabilities as computers, making mobile communication especially vulnerable.

Telemedicine, tech companies & cost savings

  • Tech companies are competing to carve out a niche at the top of the market. Apple’s HealthKit, Google Fit and Samsung’s S Health have burst onto the market with mobile mHealth platforms and wearables. Apple partnered with Mayo Clinic to offer iPhone users its HealthKit app which will be available this fall. Apart from integrating information from devices like Fitbit, HealthKit will also allow users to input information like glucose level and heart rate.
  • Cost savings. mHealth can save hospitals and patients lots of time and money. Patients can track their symptoms and use a mobile device to wirelessly transmit to a clinician in a hospital. The clinician will interpret the information, make an appropriate diagnosis and order treatment, saving the patient a trip to the hospital and the hospital the cost of treating the patient in-house.
  • Making telemedicine more user friendly. Telemedicine crosses state lines, connecting healthcare providers to patients to extend services to under-served areas. Many telemedicine companies are offering apps as a means for patients to connect with physicians remotely.

 

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