INTRODUCTION TO MHEALTH
MHealth is an abbreviation for mobile health. It refers to the practice of medical support available on mobile devices. It is closely related with digital health and uses all aspects of telecommunications and multimedia technologies for providing healthcare support.mhealth focuses basically on patient empowerment and providing them better healthcare access. This technology is supposed to increase medical efficiency and decrease the medical care delivery costs.
MARKET FOR MHEALTH
Due to increasing access to mobile technologies, the global mHealth market is also rising at a steady pace. The global mHealth market was evaluated at USD 19.19billion in 2016 and is expected to reach USD 58.8 billion by 2020. The market driving factors for the global demand of mHealth are the affordability of smartphones and the technological advancements. And it is due to these factors that the global market for mHealth is expected to rise at a CAGR of 40.1% for the next 5 years. The only obstacles to the growth of global mHealth market are the lack of data security, lack of guidance and resistance from defiance from conventional healthcare providers.
North America was the largest shareholder in this market till now, but soon it would be over shadowed by the Asia-Pacific region where the mHealth market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 40.5%.
BENEFITS OF mHEALTH
- Standardization of data: The medical analysis need to be in a standard form if it is to be easily accessible and understandable by all.
- Integration of data streams: Data can be acquired from many devices like a cardiac pacemaker or glucose monitoring device, mHealth makes it possible to see all the information visually in a comfortable setting.
- Sharing data: Sharing data is very crucial to a patient as the reports can be shared to an over-sees doctor who can provide instantaneous but crucial advice concerning the patient.
- Storing data: Medical reports concerning the glucose levels and neural activity, etc. of a lifetime could be stored safely using the mHealth technology which would otherwise be very tedious.
- Processing and Visualization of data: Various apps or monitors could provide helpful insights and could help in fixing a diet chart or exercising routine after processing the medical reports.
EMERGING TRENDS IN MHEALTH
- Emergency system alerts
- Remote monitoring of patient
- Mobile diagnostic of patient
- Patient safety
- Health awareness promotion
While the demand is driven by promise of improvement in healthcare there are various barriers which inhibit the growth of mHealth. Main concerns being data security and privacy of patients. The recent ‘WannaCry’ cyber-attack robbed thousands of hospitals of its precious data, and left the staff helpless by crashing their system. The data which is accessed by mobile is normally even less secure and with the use of apps by unknown vendors and using it for communication puts the clinical data at risk.