After a series of developments, mobile devices are now being leveraged in the medical sector as a reliable tool in tracking the health of patients and assisting professionals in managing their daily workload. In fact, wearables and mobile health app usage has increased by 50% from 2014 to 2016. Experts state this can be accounted to the wide adoption of mobile technologies by both consumers and the industry itself.
But what does the future hold for the medical mobile health assistance? Should we expect new innovations or just new apps?
Seemingly the majority of technologies that have been introduced through mobile devices have turned to gold, you only have to see the huge success of mobile payments in many leading nations. So, the success of mobile health solutions can also be accounted to smartphones introducing said technologies to the public. Today, premium handsets like the modular LG G5 sports health tracking apps and features that users can utilize to track and manage their health. O2 states that the handset comes with functionalities, such as the Always-On Display, that keeps users in the loop with their notifications to avoid missing any important health updates or from LG Health. Other mobiles on the market have more comprehensive health tracking features, such as heartbeat monitors, stress level indicators and more. Health data derived from mobile devices can be used by professionals to get more real-time information about their patient’s medical conditions.
Wearables, and in particularly smartwatches, are also one of the main driving forces behind the mobile health industry. However, many of these devices are still reliant on mobile devices, and users still don’t recognize the importance of investing in wearables until they become dedicated and untethered.
Future of mHealth
The healthcare industry is a very traditional sector, where drastic changes don’t tend to happen overnight. Experts suggest that most changes have been driven by high consumerization of healthcare. Consumers today have the power to bring down the cost of their own care by leveraging a high deductible plan or concierge medicine.
“That drives them to see solutions that are more convenient and beneficial to them,” said research2guidance managing director Ralf Jahns.
Professionals said there’s likely to be growth in the next level of health data that comes from wearables and apps. Dr. Gliklich of General Catalyst Partners states that the next version of mobile devices, apps, and wearables will measure more necessary data that also offer constant feedback from users. It will be more focused on information supplied by patients instead of data drawn from them.
“We’re going to be creating a world that has a lot more health information that’s coming from the patient as opposed to coming from the electronic medical record,” Gliklich says. “It’s going to create a need for more cloud-based services that are combining both sources of information and giving back to the consumer and tell them what might benefit them.”
Lastly, trends related to remote patient monitoring and post-acute care services will be bigger in the near future. Professionals and patients benefit from the process as it significantly reduces the amount of time the latter spends in hospitals, as well as lowering the number of follow-up visits doctors have to handle daily. Soon, we will be able to see almost all medical practitioners using Google Glass or other forms of AR devices, and more wearables that specialize in assisting particular patients, such as those with Diabetes, High Blood and more. Nothing is impossible, and the future of mHealth looks very promising at this point.
Endless possibilities await the future of mobile health, and it will go beyond the capabilities of the most popular fitness apps on the market. By next year, its market revenue is projected to be at $26 billion. Mobile apps will find a deeper purpose in monitoring specific health conditions of particular patients.
“The upcoming apps will do other things like provide tracking for patients with diabetes or COPD or asthma,” says Jahns. “If they do that right today, they have a much higher growth potential than those fitness apps.”
The transition may be slow, but expect changes to happen one at a time.
Exclusive for Auriga
Written by TechAid