The sharing of still photos and patient counseling through video conferencing, as well as remote monitoring of vital signs, are all part of telemedicine, or telehealth.
Though telehealth has been around since the 1960s, when it was first employed to track astronauts’ physiological characteristics, its full potential has just lately been discovered.
According to a report published by Research and Markets, the Telemedicine App Development Company market is expected to reach almost $64 million by 2022.
Telemedicine has changed as a result of recent technical breakthroughs. Patients and clinicians may now connect more easily thanks to technological and communication technologies, allowing for effective consultation, diagnosis, and care. As a result, physicians, patients, insurance companies, and medical facilities are increasingly using these mobile and web apps.
Telemedicine, on the other hand, is not limited to specialized mobile or desktop software. In fact, video conferencing is one of the most widely utilized platforms in telehealth, and everything that allows patients or doctors to communicate with each other remotely falls under this category.
Smaller and understaffed clinics can link with more experienced doctors at major hospitals using mobile apps and web-based technology, and patients can easily coordinate with doctors from their homes.
Motives for The Increasing Use of Healthcare Apps
Remote exams, drug prescriptions, and delivery are just a few examples of what technology can do in the healthcare profession. Appointments, patient flow streamlining, electronic lab results, fitness advice, and other tasks are also complete.
A vast number of mobile health apps are already available, with at least 100,000 of them available across app stores. Patients, physicians, pathologists, technicians, pharma reps, and other members of the healthcare community are all part of the mHealth app audience.
The following factors are influencing the rise of mobile health apps:
The increasing rise in chronic diseases has raised the demand for healthcare workers to get to patients more quickly, and vice versa, for faster treatment. Patients with chronic illnesses must visit the hospital more frequently, which can be reduced with the use of mHealth apps.
Patients want easy access to doctors for a rapid consultation and to avoid unnecessary hospital stays in mild cases. Hospitals are also attempting to minimize manpower by using mHealth apps to provide remedies for minor medical issues.
The time between diagnosis and cure must be reduced, and mHealth apps can help by expediting consultations and hospital trips, sending test results electronically, allowing clinicians to do tests remotely, and so on.
mHealth apps that assist people improve their lifestyle, well-being, and fitness are growing more popular. Fitness, nutrition, and diet, as well as lifestyle management, are currently in high demand, accounting for the bulk of mHealth apps.
The medical community is adopting mobile health applications. Patients are more likely to use mHealth apps as a result of professional advice.
Major healthcare companies such as Johnson & Johnson, Abbott Laboratories, F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd, GlaxoSmithKline plc, Merck and Co., Inc., and Pfizer have all produced mHealth applications, fueling the market’s growth.
Leading The Future’s Key Features
Here are some significant characteristics of mHealth apps that make them more accessible and contribute to their quick adoption:
1. Observation of the patient’s condition
The Welch Allyn iExaminer Adapter and Ophthalmoscope, among other mHealth apps and accompanying devices, can use to test and monitor a patient’s status remotely. After that, the information might transmitt to a doctor for a diagnosis. Doctors can keep track of a patient’s health and offer proactive medical recommendations. This cuts down on the time it takes to diagnose and, as a result, recover.
2. Simple Appointment Scheduling and Booking
Patients can use scheduling applications to make appointments at hospitals, clinics, and diagnostic centers. Patients and the hospital are both kept up to date on the status of their appointments thanks to real-time information. These apps assist healthcare facilities in streamlining patient flow inside a facility, resulting in a better patient experience.
3. Obtaining Lab Results and Reports with Ease
All of a patient’s records gather in one place via mHealth apps with consolidate data storage, which may be accessed via a frontend dashboard. Patients can acquire lab and diagnostic results and access this information (unless it is sensitive). These records are also accessed by hospitals and doctors for rapid knowledge of a patient’s medical history.
4. Billing in a hurry
Queues at a hospital’s billing window are not only inconvenient, but they also create bottlenecks within the institution, disrupting the normal flow of patients. Payments can be made online with healthcare apps, making it a simple solution.
5. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle
Apps that operate on smartphones and wearables track a user’s training routine, measure fitness levels, and prescribe activities and diets, among other things. Regardless matter how hectic a user’s schedule is, they always have their smartphone or watch with them, and these apps encourage activity in order to assist users develop better habits and lifestyles.
6. Improved Medical Care
The capacity to track a patient’s medical state in real time allows clinicians to take preemptive efforts to provide medical remedies, increasing the likelihood of a positive outcome for patients. Diagnostic mistakes are also less likely thanks to modern technology.
7. Processes and Workflows that are Streamline
The healthcare business as a whole follows rigid protocols and workflows. Before clinical research can be conduct, for example, the institution must go through stringent legal procedures, which include various contracts with participants and vendors. The institution will save time, effort, and money with a computerized solution that streamlines this procedure.
Successful Health App Solutions Examples
Epocrates: Epocrates is an Athenahealth-developed medical reference app. It enables users to quickly obtain information about diseases and to check for drug interactions as well as potential adverse effects. This software allows users to send immediate messages to healthcare professionals and to learn about the DEA/FDA status of pharmaceuticals, as well as their costs. According to this case study, Athenahealth upgraded Epocrates to improve the user experience.
Omron HeartGuide: Omron’s wearable device, HeartGuide, is the world’s first wearable blood pressure monitor. It monitors the wearer’s heart rate and blood pressure, syncs the information with the companion app HeartAdvisor, and sends it to the user’s doctor. It monitors the user’s behavior, sleep patterns, and other factors, as well as their impact on blood pressure, to provide recommendations on how to improve their lifestyle.
AliveCor is a remote ECG solution that allows users to perform medical-grade electrocardiograms in less than 30 seconds. It includes a simple mobile pad that syncs with the app (iOS and Android). Users place their fingertips on the pad, which measures their heart rate and displays the findings on the app.
Sensio Air: Sensio Air is an anti-allergy system that includes an air detector as well as a mobile app. The device monitors airborne particles and can distinguish between mold, dust mites, pollen, and dander. The smartphone app shows you the air quality and probable allergens in the air in real time.
The Challenges Facing Health Companies in 2020
Because of the delicate nature of the medical field, mHealth apps confront challenges that other technical apps do not:
Patient Data Confidentiality
According to the legislation, patient information must kept private. Because app developers have direct access to patient records and data, this causes problems. In the mHealth business, working around this to secure data and implement authentication mechanisms to minimize the accessibility of patient data is a major challenge.
Regulations and Compliance
Regulatory authorities, such as HIPAA in the United States, keep a tight grip on the healthcare business. Every feature and service supplied by mHealth app developers must comply with the law and the regulatory authorities’ directives. Similarly, applications in the lifestyle and nutrition arena must comply with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Integration with the Cloud
The Cloud is the most modern and effective storage, speed, and accessibility solution available today. Data stored in the cloud is independent of the storage capacity of the user’s device and is easily accessible. However, this increases vulnerabilities and the possibility of data theft or hacking.
Interoperability and integration with legacy systems
While mobile health apps are new, the healthcare industry has been using technology for data storage and processing for more than a decade. App developers confront a problem in integrating current solutions with legacy systems and syncing historical data with modern apps.
Furthermore, the healthcare industry is vast, with numerous service verticals. It’s difficult to make apps that can communicate with other apps or equipment.
While app developers must adhere to tight guidelines when delivering medical and health-related information, users have no way of knowing whether the information offered is correct or the result of extensive research.
Despite these obstacles, however, the mobile health business continues to expand. According to Statista, the digital health market is predict to reach over 200 billion dollars by 2020, with the mHealth sector accounting for the majority of this development.
Technology is progressing, and new solutions, particularly in the healthcare sector, are proving to be incredibly advantageous. Developers now have a secure way to protect consumer data thanks to blockchain technology.
The Internet of Things (IoT) intends to connect patients with doctors and medical facilities in real time for diagnosis and treatment. With current solutions, the demand for the growth of mHealth apps will only increase in the next years.