We’re not so blind to think that smartphones and the many apps that run them are the cure-alls for the health industry; however the growing number of health related mobile solutions cropping up –from all over the world –shows that their acceptance is spreading. That acceptance is not only being conveyed by healthcare policy makers who like tossing around terms like ‘mobile health.’ The number of private tech companies jumping in with mobile health products and applications, like Fitbit, handyscope, and even Nexercise, is another indication of promise. Part of that promise is making screening health or logging activity for an individual as simple and ubiquitous as possible with a goal of driving down the cost of healthcare within every part of the health system.
As this article suggests, a barrier to creating lasting changes to the healthcare industry is the fact that people still have to actually go to a physician to get checked out. Mobile technology like telemedicine and istethoscope are stepping in the right direction of making the health monitoring, compliance, and reporting processes more of a consistent possibility, and can likely increase patient participation. We still need more useful applications to hit the market to make the impact last.
As smartphone technology advances, the uses and applications of said technology will go a long way to helping to reduce healthcare related costs. Patients will be able to get screened from the comfort of their own homes, or doctors will use pseudo-instruments like istethoscope on patients instead of costly or bulky machines or equipment. We all can only benefit from the onslaught of mobile health technology; let’s keep the innovation coming.
- RWJF’s Steve Downs on the future of mobile health (projecthealthdesign.typepad.com)
- HIMSS 2011: Mobile health enters the spotlight (medcitynews.com)
- Fitbit tracker – a trend to watch in mobile health (blogs.picpacwrack.net)
- Report: 500M to use mHealth apps by 2015 (tissuepathology.typepad.com)