In today’s increasingly digital world, healthcare organizations have begun to utilize the power of mobile technology in effective and impactful ways. In particular, many are beginning to take advantage of mobile technology in healthcare to improve medical processes in several key ways for both patients and those working in the healthcare industry.
This practice known as mobile health — not to be confused with the equally impactful and innovative practice of utilizing mobile health clinics — is beginning to alter the way that both patients and medical professionals experience healthcare. Gaining a deeper understanding of mobile health’s powerful impact on the way individuals receive medical treatment is key to developing a grasp of the innovative trajectory that healthcare is on.
Here is how mobile health is changing the face of healthcare.
Understanding Mobile Health
Before one can comprehend how mobile health is impacting healthcare, it can be helpful to gain a clear understanding of what mobile health is. Put simply, mobile health is a practice in which technological devices — such as smartphones and tablets — are used for healthcare and improving patient outcomes.
The applications of mobile healthcare are broad and can range from a doctor monitoring a patient’s health through a smartphone to a nurse giving a caretaker instructions remotely via a video call on a tablet. Given the many applications that mobile health can have, it has begun to present itself as a useful and effective practice in many healthcare organizations.
The Benefits of Mobile Health
To really understand how mobile health is changing healthcare, it’s necessary to explore the impressive benefits that it’s been shown to offer. Here are some of the benefits of mobile health that are helping to change the face of healthcare.
For many, driving to a medical facility can be difficult, time-consuming, and stressful. For some, this may be due to a busy schedule while others may live a significant distance away from their healthcare provider’s physical location. Mobile health has offered itself as a potent remedy to this problem by allowing patients and medical professionals to interact remotely.
Whether it’s asking a doctor about new symptoms or having a prescription refilled, patients now have the ability to consult doctors from the comfort of their own homes. In addition, doctors with concerns about specific patients have the ability to monitor certain things remotely, again decreasing the need for patients to physically have to come in for an appointment. While there are still cases in which it’s necessary for patients to go to their healthcare provider’s physical location, more and more innovations in mobile health are continuing to increase the number of services that healthcare providers are able to offer through mobile health.
Public health is an important field of healthcare that aims to educate the public about health-related topics. The ultimate aim is to help the masses understand which actions will increase their likelihood of experiencing negative health outcomes and which ones will promote good health and an increased sense of well-being. Mobile health allows healthcare organizations and public health professionals to communicate directly with individuals about specific health-related topics effectively.
Better Public Health Communication
As one can imagine, text messages that notify individuals about health threats immediately are a great way to warn people about outbreaks of diseases and illnesses. In addition, mobile health increases the ability of healthcare organizations to have specific information about the demographics of individual patients. This means that if a specific disease mostly impacts people of a certain age, healthcare organizations can specifically target these individuals for health-related advice and warnings.
More Accessibility to Healthcare
For decades, a significant and disheartening problem that healthcare has been attempting to remedy is the lack of access that many people experience in regard to healthcare and health-related resources. While some are unable to afford healthcare others live in remote areas that make it difficult to get to the nearest healthcare facility. Mobile health is beginning to make striking headway in this problem by offering patients an increased amount of cheaper and less geographically-dependent options for receiving care.
Many healthcare professionals are hopeful that mobile health will be able to reduce costs for both medical organizations and patients. If this becomes the case, scores of individuals who were unable to afford medical care will gain newfound access to medical professionals through mobile health.
Increased Patient Information
In recent years, digital technology has made it far easier for healthcare organizations to collect health-related and patient-related data. Though this may seem inconsequential to some working outside of the field, data has the power to improve medical care and patient outcomes in many profound ways ranging from discovering new medical treatments to crafting more effective treatments for specific individuals.
When patients use technological devices to interact with their healthcare providers, healthcare organizations have the ability to collect a wide assortment of data about users. This data could lead to profound insights such as a specific medication working well for individuals with a certain blood type or the fact that a specific type of food correlates with a certain ailment. The more that mobile health becomes utilized, the more data healthcare organizations will have the power to use to increase the health outcomes of the people that they treat.
Improvements In the Processes of Medical Professionals
While mobile health is mainly utilized as a way for patients and medical professionals to interact with each other, new apps and digital tools are helping medical professionals perform their duties more efficiently and effectively. From mobile apps that help nurses avoid burnout to mobile apps that help healthcare management find strategies for effective leadership, mobile health is helping medical staffs become more capable of providing better health outcomes to patients.
As one can imagine, mistakes and inefficiency among medical professionals can have a dramatic impact on the patient experience and patient health outcomes. Many apps tailored to medical professionals now allow those working for healthcare organizations to improve their processes and better perform their duties. Accordingly, mobile health improves the ability of medical professionals to be more efficient and effective by taking advantage of mobile technology in healthcare settings.
Healthcare Is Changing Drastically
New and exciting innovations are rapidly changing how people receive and experience healthcare. Mobile health is one of the most profound practices in this wave of innovation and is being increasingly utilized by more and more healthcare organizations.
In many ways, mobile health is spearheading efforts to improve healthcare and make it more capable of providing people with effective care. While it is still in its relatively early stages, it is more than likely that mobile health will become a normalized practice in healthcare shortly and new ways of utilizing digital technology will continue to provide healthcare organizations with more options for patients to receive amazing treatment and care.