With the growing number of smartphone users, the healthcare industry decided it was time to go digital. According to Pew Research Center, 81% of American adults own a smartphone, and in conjunction, there are over 97,000 health and fitness apps available to download for mobile devices. These apps allow healthcare providers and patients to communicate instantly and provide immediate access to various health resources. Mobile health (mHealth) apps have been helpful in the public health sector as its accessibility and resourcefulness reduces costs for many. mHealth apps are a gateway for people to be more proactive with their health, and its many benefits will be further examined as it works to deliver the best treatment for patients.
Provides Easy Access to Health Records and Resources
A trip to the doctors can be a time-constraining or financial strain for people, but mHealth apps can eliminate this inconvenience by digitizing the health records of their patients. This is especially helpful for those who switch healthcare providers and forget to bring a copy of their health records to the hospital. Due to technological advancements, hospitals around the nation are now interconnected on a secure database that updates patient health records immediately after data entry. In addition, mHealth apps allow patients to access their health records, schedule appointments, pay their bills, and provide resources when seeking immediate medical attention.
Direct Contact with Primary Care Physicians
90% of physicians are already using their mobile devices while on duty in order to navigate the everyday responsibilities of their job. Some mHealth apps offered by hospitals have a feature where a patient can seek immediate help from a physician and receive treatment via video chat. This option can be used to get a quick diagnosis on any symptoms the patient may experience, but does not completely replace the need to be physically examined by a doctor. Physicians are also able to send prescriptions to the patient in case medication is needed to treat some of the more common ailments.
Increased Awareness of Health Status
What most people are unaware of is that our smart devices come with at least one health app that has the capability to track movement, monitor heartbeats, and calculate pulse rates.
The data provides users with a visual graph that documents their health, and can serve as a good point to mention when seeing a physician. There are other mHealth apps that remind people when to take medication and suggest scheduled pick-ups for refills at their local pharmacy.
The future for mHealth apps appear to be limitless as developers work with healthcare providers to make healthcare easier and more accessible for all.
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Originally posted on 22/1/2020