HOW M-HEALTH TECHNOLOGY IMPROVES HEALTHCARE: BENEFITS AND USE CASES FOR APPS AND DEVICES
Jan 18 2021
Table of contents
The complex of mobile technical means for healthcare (mHealth) creates comfortable conditions for patients. How do mHealth apps and devices do it?
WHAT IS MHEALTH?
mHealth is a complex of mobile technical means for healthcare created by the interaction of technical, informational and human resources.
The most common type of mHealth that most users have encountered are fitness and telemedicine programs. Thus, mHealth can be roughly divided into two categories:
- Med is a mobile technical complex aimed at healthcare. Supporting people during illness and providing advice and other assistance. Examples of Med directions: telemedicine, EMR and EHR systems, etc.
- Fit is a mobile technical complex aimed at sports and support for a healthy lifestyle. Examples of Fit are: business apps, fitness bracelets, etc.
Many countries of the world began to develop technological means back in the 90s. At that time, such applications were seen as a means of supporting hospitals, which can ease the work and burden on the medical staff.
Now many types of mobile technical complexes (mHealth) are an integral part of the health care system and people's lives. The development of mHealt has been gaining momentum in the last decade thanks to the expansion of smartphone capabilities. After 2020, the level of trust and technical equipment attracted massive attention to mHealt, increasing their consumer appeal. At the moment mHealt is one of the actively developing industries in healthcare and the world.
MHEALTH BENEFITS FOR PATIENTS AND DOCTORS
Med is an industry that finds expression in telemedicine and real-life clinics. Examples of Med mHealt:
“For clinics that accept patients in real life:”
- Support for integration between inpatient medical devices
- Systems and applications that create an internal structure for storing, recording, accessing and changing documentation
- Automatic entry into the patient card of new data received from stationary devices
- Availability of services that support the operation of the clinic's medical applications and the safety of hospital data
- Technological division of the system according to the level of information availability
- Flexible search for patient records, treatment information and other documents in electronic format
- Freeing the time of medical staff from bureaucratic work, which allows them to pay more attention to the treatment of patients
- Issue electronic prescriptions to patients
- Facilitate the work of the clinic in collecting statistics, writing off drugs and introducing accounting
- Improving the diagnosis of a patient's disease due to comprehensive collection and access to information
- Solves the problem of lack of time to visit a general and specialized doctor
- Saving the budget of patients for doctor's appointments
- Saving time spent on the road to the clinic
- The doctor without haste and on an individual basis conducts a detailed survey and examination of the patient, without the distractions that arise in the clinic
- Simple interface for clear interaction between patient and doctor with the application
- Consultation of a patient that, due to geographical and other remote reasons, cannot visit the necessary specialist
- Childcare counseling for young parents and first aid courses for infants
- Consultation of the elderly and disabled in the prevention or initial treatment of the necessary ailment
- Selection of the necessary medical tests and procedures necessary for the patient
- Issuance of electronic prescriptions for medications necessary for the patient
- Availability of mobile and PC software versions
- Availability of a payment gateway to pay for doctor's services without leaving the application
- Automatically adjusts the best device resolution for doctor-patient communication
- Ability to keep a medical history of regular customers and replenish it with additional information
- Appointment planning for the doctor and patient in a format convenient for all parties
- The ability to conduct a dialogue in the chat
- Pop-up reminders for patient and doctor about upcoming appointment times
Currently, there is a process of integration of mHealt clinics working in real life and telemedicine. This is due to the following factors:
- The problem of earning clinics with the help of telemedicine is being solved. Indeed, a larger number of patients can go to the doctors of the clinic even if they cannot get to them.
- The state problem of the availability of medical care for all segments of the population is being solved. Not all people have health insurance that can pay for medical expenses. Even more acute is the problem of the availability of certain regions of people's lives, for the provision of high-quality medical care. Telemedicine solves this problem in the consulting sense.
- Availability of medicines. Many people need medication on an ongoing basis: patients with diabetes, cancer, etc. And if the categories of severe patients, writing prescriptions for medicines on an ongoing basis, is a normal practice, then we will twist the gallbladder, headaches, etc. It is not that simple. Telemedicine is capable of making it easier to obtain a prescription for medicines when diagnosed.
Fit - The industry uses apps and devices to track exercise, sleep, heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, and many other vital signs. The entire Fit industry is committed to supporting healthy lifestyles and preventing potential illnesses in humans, which will force them to turn to the Med industry. mHealt brings the following benefits to these industries:
- Health monitoring
- Recording statistics on the progress of health status (improvement or deterioration)
- Maintaining daily activity records for the day
- Automatic recognition of the type of activity
- Reminder for exercise, medication, rest, meal, etc.
- Synchronization with phone applications and PC software
- Allows you to collect data on the recovery of heart rate, respiration and pressure after physical activity
- Help share your workout progress with other app users or telemedicine / clinic doctor
- Blood oxygen measurement
- Food diary in the Fit app allows you to calculate your calorie intake and not overeat
- GPS-module equipped in many devices, allowing to build training routes, call a taxi and use the "SOS" function to call emergency services
The capabilities of the mHealt Fit industry every year expand the functional methods of analyzing user actions and are configured to integrate with a large number of mHealt devices and applications, such as:
- Clinic applications in real life
- Integration with stationary and implantable devices
- Integration with telemedicine
For all these industries, Fit acts as a tool through which it is possible to collect various data about the patient, which will facilitate the diagnosis.
EXAMPLES OF USING MHEALTH
In a number of developed countries, mHealt has been used in healthcare since 2005 and by now has spread to many countries around the world. In the next top, the mHealt market leaders in the world will be presented, who set the trends for other competitors. Perhaps, by studying them, you will see what the advantages and disadvantages of mHealt data are and develop a unique idea that can change the world.
Read also: 5-Step-Guide to Developing a Health App
mHealt Telemedicine Leaders:
- MDLIVE. The application is very popular in the telemedicine field. The online clinic was able to achieve this thanks to a quick response to a patient's request (the waiting time for finding the necessary specialist for non-emergency cases takes 15 minutes), as well as a variety of medical staff who are ready to receive an appointment. One of the most popular functions of the software, which has come gradually with updates, is the ability to contact a psychologist and psychiatrist online. The introduction of these specialties allowed the application to take a leading position and increase profits from online consultations many times over.
- Lemonaid. When creating this application, the “order from a pharmacy” function was developed. So, the clinic, in addition to providing quick advice for a fee through the payment gateway system, will be able to provide the patient not only with fast and voluminous assistance within two hours of admission, but also carry out a prescription and instant purchase of medicines in the same application that will be delivered from the Lemonaid pharmacy ”.
- LiveHealth Online Mobile. This online clinic helps patients through video calls to consult on various issues: from allergies to skin rashes; from the flu to digestive problems. A distinctive feature of this telemedicine application is that it offers online courses on breastfeeding and caring for children under three years of age.
You can find out more about telemedicine applications and the peculiarities of their work and development by reading our article.
Read also: Healthcare Cybersecurity Framework
mHealt leaders for real-life clinics:
- HealthEast Care System. A non-profit integrated health care system that provides technological support for medical care in the following areas: support for the operation of academic and public hospitals, primary and specialized clinics, long-term care and elderly facilities, support for the operation of pharmacies and the management of pharmacy-related benefits, etc. All functions are displayed in the software and can be paid for online or with insurance.
- M Health Fairview. A medical company that organizes collaboration between three separate organizations: the University of Minnesota, Physicians of Minnesota, and Fairview Health Services. Due to this, this firm is recognized as one of the best combinations of technological assistance (both virtual consultation and real-time assistance), the use of the latest technologies and knowledge in the field of medicine.
- CentraCare Health. It is an integrated health care system in Central Minnesota. The not-for-profit organization includes six hospitals, seven senior institutions, 18 clinics, four pharmacies and numerous specialized inpatient and outpatient services, which are supported by software and organize their work through integration with various mHealt devices.
Each of these clinics needs to ensure data protection and application performance. Although there are many more examples of clinics operating thanks to mHealt in the United States, it is worth mentioning the leading services that provide support and protection of clinic applications:
- NIST Cybersecurity Framework. Cybersecurity leader in the United States that has held its position for over 5 years. The NIST Infrastructure provides the governance structure for a private organization, allowing them to assess the current state of the software and decide which plug-in they need with an upgrade. This helps companies to display, respond, and in most cases defuse cyberattacks.
- HITRUST CSF. This company provides a certified software structure that creates a set of functions for medical organizations. This allows hospitals to store and exchange data, including confidential data. They can also create levels of access to this or that information. This program has been criticized for its expensive maintenance and a very cumbersome interface that is difficult to understand.
- Critical Security Controls. This program is aimed at protecting software. Protection is carried out by prioritizing access to this or that information, focusing fewer actions with high results. That is, in the event of a burst of activity or attempts to invade the software code, the program is capable of blocking a certain part of the site. Also, this software generates reports, which reflects potential threats to the company's software.
Read also: How to Start a Telehealth Business
mHealt leaders for fitness apps and devices:
Most Fit devices in the industry are built to integrate with a specific app or device of a specific system: Android or iOS. The leaders of the device market are undoubtedly fitness bracelets/smartwatches, which are gaining consumer popularity in equal measure every year.
- My Fitness Pal is the market leader in fitness and diet applications, thanks to its 6 million database of products and combinations (recipes), built-in barcode scanner of products, the ability to integrate with more than 350 applications and devices, and the presence of more than 350 workouts in the database. This app is used not only by athletes and people who want to change their eating habits, but also by clinics, restaurateurs, nutritionists and many other professions to improve the quality of their work.
- Fitness Buddy is like a virtual personal trainer and nutritionist in one app. This program offers a wide range of workouts that you can do at home or in the gym. An advanced feature of the app is a customized nutritional suggestion and recipe list that will enable people to eat healthy and achieve the results they want. This exercise is designed for both beginners and experienced people in fitness, offering workout plans with clear instructions and video formats.
- YogaGlo is the leader in the yoga app that integrates with the Apple Watch, yoga masters offer advice, and can work without Wi-Fi.
The Fit industry market is capable of offering a variety of apps to satisfy the user's desire for exercise and healthy lifestyle habits. From cardio workouts to meditation, etc. In terms of measuring indicators, while many devices and applications remain at the same technological level:
- Heart rate measurement
- Measuring the duration of a workout
- Sleep depth measurement
- Automatic calculation of calories entered in the application database
- Automatic measurement of parameters after training
Depending on the devices, the capability of the measured parameters varies. This industry is actively developing and assumes a closer integration into people's lives and the work of telemedicine/health clinics.
LET'S DISCUSS YOUR IDEA
“Exceed Team is interested in the development of the healthcare sector and its replenishment with new technological solutions. Indeed, the embodied technology can not only improve the quality of life of many people but also save even more lives around the world.
It is in our power to develop an application according to your idea. Perhaps, after studying our article, yours came up with a unique solution that will make mHealt better or will make the evolution of applications and healthcare devices.
Our team can bring your projects to life and provide unique solutions for your application. If you have questions about the article or if you want to discuss the manufacturability of your idea in more detail, write to us.
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