mHealth is a component of eHealth. No standardized definition of mHealth has been established. For the purposes of the survey, the Global Observatory for eHealth (GOe) defined mHealth or mobile health as medical and public health practice supported by mobile devices, such as mobile phones, patient monitoring devices, personal digital assistants (PDAs), and other wireless devices.
mHealth involves the use and capitalization on a mobile phone’s core utility of voice and short messaging service (SMS) as well as more complex functionalities and applications including general packet radio service (GPRS), third and fourth generation mobile telecommunications (3G and 4G systems), global positioning system (GPS), and Bluetooth technology.
The top advantages of using mobile devices and how it’s transforming healthcare
- Better point-of-care coordination
Mobile devices are changing this dynamic. Doctors and nurses can now coordinate better with the patient about the diagnosis, medication and the follow-up process. They can also monitor whether the patient has understood the instructions properly. This point-of-care coordination is making a huge difference in patient recovery and decreasing the number of re-admissions. It is streamlining the process between the inpatient and outpatient care.
- Seamless data flow
The healthcare system is a complex network. There is a continuous data flow between the healthcare providers and the patients. Along with this, the hospital administration also needs access to the data for accounting purposes. Mobile technology is making this complex ecosystem move information more efficiently. Data can move through the network faster with phones and tablets working as end-points. Healthcare providers can now have more control over the dispersion of information. mHealth interoperability has the potential to boost healthcare and improve overall provider and patient satisfaction.
- Direct patient management
Mobile devices are changing this dynamic. Phones, tablets, and wearable’s are being used to take regular vitals and keep logs on patients. Doctors and nurses can check up on the patient directly using mobile devices which can show how to administer a procedure. Providers can even teach family members the different aspects of patient care using mobile communication apps. Through the use of mobile devices, healthcare providers are taking a more active role in guiding their patients in the right direction.
- Enhances Physician Efficiency
Physicians are the backbone of an efficient healthcare system. But it is a high-stress job. Phones and tablets are helping doctors solve problems faster with less stress. Physicians can use mobile devices to record patient history with minimal errors. These devices provide better access to latest drug information and thus help make better decisions. They automate a lot of paperwork which frees up a physician’s time. It also means that now doctors have every patients information at their fingertips, so they have to spend less time providing the same level of care. The use of mobile devices in healthcare has improved physician performance and ensured better patient care.
- Diagnostic Accurateness
Mobile devices are taking this to a new level through eliminating the need for paper usage. This has led to an increase in diagnostic accuracy. According to mHealth statistics 2016, 93% of physicians believe that mobile health apps can improve patient’s health. Doctors and nurses are able to keep accurate and descriptive notes. Fewer mistakes are made due to ineligible handwritings. Mobile apps can run automatic checks on prescriptions and decisions.
- Provides Expediency
Even in the field of medical education, mobile devices are replacing bulky medical textbooks. Health care professionals can rapidly access information from their portable devices. They don’t have to waste time running to the library or carrying heavy medical books around. Doctors and patients can share information without the need for physical meetings. With the advent of telemedicine apps, video conferencing is now possible.
- Cater to customizations
Mobile devices are helping physicians custom design remedies without investing a huge amount of time. Doctors can use patient data to create profiles and categorize them. These profiles can help doctors pinpoint the optimum solution for each patient. Without the help of mobile devices, this process can be complicated. But the convenience of mobile devices makes it easy for doctors to create individual level customization without investing too much time.
- Coincident Communication
Mobile devices in healthcare is the improvement in communication. Doctors and nurses can inspect the patient’s condition remotely using HD cameras. Regular real-time communication between provider and patients also builds rapport. The benefits of mobile devices in healthcare reach beyond the doctor-patient relationship. It is also promoting collaboration, consulting and sharing of knowledge globally. Experts from different corners of the world can consult each other in coincident to learn and share. In turn, the patients benefit from these collaborations and information sharing.