When you consider the amount of people who are connected via an iPhone or Android smartphone, it makes perfect sense that medical technology should target new applications so that the public can easily access a wide range of apps that are designed to improve and save lives.
You’re a health informatics student – you already know that mobile health tech already plays an important role in the healthcare industry and all the evidence suggests that mobile health tech is going to be trending large for 2015.
The annual mHealth App Developer Economics 2014 report revealed that there are currently over 100,000 apps dedicated to mobile health. This figure represents a doubling of the number of apps in just a 24 month period; when you consider that the global health and fitness mobile app market is already believed to be worth about $4 billion, it is hardly surprising that the expected increase in apps coming to market will make it a market worth over $25 billion within the next couple of years.
It goes without saying that patients are much more digitally savvy today; the ability to view and interact with medical records online has contributed significantly to the recent growth in digital solutions.
The number of patients accessing their records has virtually doubled over the last three years and almost 50% are now connected to our medical history online. About 75% of patients also reviewed their medical test results online last year and over 60% also used the internet to schedule appointments. Some sources have that estimate as high as 86% accessing their records at least once online.
The possibilities and opportunities for improved healthcare using mobile technology are almost limitless and offer the chance of better and faster access to more patients than would be possible without these developments.
One of the key growth areas in 2015 is expected to be diagnostic screening. Mobile phones can be used to screen for cervical cancer; with an attachment, phones can also enable imaging of the retina as way to provide early detection of diabetic retinopathy. These two incredible examples reflect the power of mobile technologies to change the way we manage our health.
The further development of wearable tech is another strong trend. Apps and wearable bands have flourished, but more is coming. Mobile medical devices are being incorporated into specially designed clothing to collect data. This technology offers constant monitoring of a patient’s vitals and other data, but in a very unobtrusive way.
Wearable technology is so important because it makes full use of mobile health tech options without the wearer being required to have any technical knowledge or input. This allows anyone and everyone to take advantage of all that mobile health technology can offer going forward.
Mobile health tech is evolving all the time and 2015 will undoubtedly witness some exciting new developments, so keep an eye on this space!