What do you know about the term mHealth? mHealth or mobile health is used for wireless technologies and mobile phones in the healthcare industry. It is used for an epidemic outbreak tracking, disease surveillance, and disease management.
In the world of healthcare, several terms are co-related and can leave people baffled. Two of the most common terms that raise confusion are mHealth and Telehealth. mHealth and Telehealth support healthcare in several ways and are gaining acceptance in the healthcare industry. So in what ways do they differ? mHealth refers to mobile self-care; whereas, Telehealth includes a range of technologies that improve the delivery of healthcare systems.
Let us understand the difference and benefits of these two terms in-depth.
mHealth Enhances the Delivery of Information to Healthcare Researchers
mHealth uses smartphones and supports healthcare. Mobile health is commonly used as a context for mobile communication devices such as smartwatches, PDAs, mobile phones, and others. It uses these devices in collecting data and delivering healthcare information to researchers and practitioners.
With mHealth applications, patients could also monitor their health and access records on their devices. It is used in remote monitoring, diagnostic support, education and awareness, and other fields.
A list of categories that are included in mHealth is cardiology, chronic and infectious disease management, pediatrics, epidemiology, and others. With over 4 billion smartphone users, using mHealth is a step towards success and to achieve global awareness.
Applications of mHealth
Today, mHealth is used in several industries. Its services improve the healthcare system. Here are a few applications of mHealth.
It usually includes a particular phone number to which anyone could call to gain access to health services. These services are drugs, service complaints, health consultations, and more.
In this, messages are sent to the user’s phone on different subjects. It could be related to treatment methods, testing, and other services. Furthermore, it reaches to the people living in rural areas who couldn't use health care facilities or have limited access to health education.
3. Diagnostic and Treatment Support
Diagnostic and Treatment support provide advice related to the diagnosis and treatment of patients. Some organizations provide a diagnosis to patients; others give mobile applications and guide them step by step on how to proceed further.
4. Remote Data Collection and Outbreak Tracking
Projects here collect data quickly and efficiently by smartphones. Diseases could help ministries of health and other organizations to identify outbreaks and the areas that need help. These projects are used during emergencies to know of the emergency in the whole country.
Benefits of mHealth
Within a span of a short time, mHealth has garnered the attention of millions. It is playing a crucial role in the growth of the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry. It is also providing cheaper treatment at the time of emergencies.
All the services offered by mHealth are making the mobile project faster and sustainable in the long term. Here are the advantages of mHealth and how they are improving the healthcare industry.
1. Continuous Data Flow
The healthcare system requires a continuous flow between the patients and healthcare providers. Furthermore, it also needs access to data for different purposes. mHealth is making this complex network of information to work smoothly.
Healthcare providers have control over the information and do not have to stress about misplaced papers and folders.
2. Smooth Management
Earlier, healthcare providers had limited access to the data. They couldn’t track the patients’ and doctors’ records. Now when you have phones, tablets, and wearable, tracking the records has become easy.
Healthcare professionals could check the patients easily through phones and show how to proceed. They are actively participating in and guiding the patients easily.
Keeping track of patients and doctors is a daunting task. mHealth apps have reduced this effort by reducing paper usage.
Mobile devices have reduced this burden and have improved diagnostic accuracy. The applications could run automatically and make decisions.
Additionally, these devices also recognize symptoms and pathogens of severe diseases.
4. Real-Time Health Information
It is recorded that above 80% of medical facilities find these apps a benefit in the healthcare industry. Health tracking apps could track different features, as well.
For instance, a weight loss app could also track pulse rate and heartbeat. The real-time information of the patients helps the doctor in tracking the patient’s records.
5. Paperless Documentation
Healthcare mobile apps
are improving patient care in several ways. With mHealth, there is no need for paper documents. Everything could be tracked and recorded through mobile apps.
Patients could now follow the doctor’s advice and produce reports through smartphones. Devices like tablets, PDAs, and other devices could turn these documents into a digitized form that could be accessed from anywhere.
6. It Saves Cost
Visiting a doctor could cost you over a hundred dollars. But with mHealth, apps work as a doctor and also take care of your health problems daily. It is capable of prescribing medication for common problems.
mHealth is getting updated continuously and is going to be better in the coming years. It provides convenience and is replacing medical textbooks. Doctors and healthcare professionals need not worry about carrying heavy books all around. They could find reviews and journals related to their field on smartphones.
As the mHealth apps are gaining popularity, the day is not far when these apps would replace physicians for common problems.
7. Better Patient Care
The focused IT initiative aims to take care of patients. Smartphones and other smart devices with the help of CDSS (Clinical Decision Support System)
could provide a list of diagnoses based on symptoms that doctors might not have considered.
Trends That Are Going to Develop in the Coming Years
More manufacturers are thinking of using mHealth. It is not developed completely, but it is believed certain trends would develop in the next few years.
1. Manufacturers Would Establish Themselves in the Market
A few manufacturers, in the beginning, didn’t find entering into mHealth to be the right choice due to some FDA issues. But with a better understanding over the years, it is expected that manufacturers will introduce themselves to the market.
2. Enhanced Performance
The use of smartphones is increasing day by day. This is allowing everyone to improve video quality. Also, 4G connectivity is taking over the market and is improving the performance of several applications. The new manufacturers are also learning which connection is working well, so the use of applications is increasing over time.
3. Reduced Cost
Mobile solutions have become a great tool to attract people for product packages and other services. Healthcare services are allowing organizations to sell their services in bulk, which is reducing their cost. These healthcare tools
are also doing great in the healthcare industry.
Telehealth Refers to Remote Non-Clinical Services
Telehealth, commonly considered similar to telemedicine. But it is a broader scope of healthcare services. Telemedicine includes remote clinical services; whereas, telehealth includes non-clinical services such as administrative meetings and training.
It is a health-related service and improves the healthcare system as a whole. When there is a lack of mobility, transport, and funding, then telehealth bridges the gap. Let us know the benefits of Telehealth and why it is gaining popularity these days.
Advantages of Telehealth
Telehealth makes the healthcare industry more efficient and convenient by offering several benefits. Read the advantages of using Telehealth and its impact on the healthcare industry.
1. Improved Patient Engagement
Telehealth offers several ways to engage patients in self-care. Today, it is used by the patients from their homes, and the team acts as a counselor as they help them in their journey. Treating patients also requires physicians to teach them how to care for themselves in between clinical visits.
2. Saves Money and Time
Patients spend a lot of money on visiting doctors. With telehealth, doctors meet patients on laptops and through other digital devices. In this way, patients could save their time and the cost of travel.
Sometimes when a patient is from a rural area, he/she has to travel overnight to see a doctor. It is also noted that a few people skip their doctor visits if they have to travel for long hours.
Also, if the patient is a kid or older adult, it becomes difficult to bring them to doctors. This solves the problem by seeing the doctor online.
3. Do Not Compromise on the Quality of Care
With telehealth, you could choose any provider with top ratings, without visiting it. Patients do not have to choose the provider because it is near his/her home. Patients could make a list of the best providers and connect with them easily. This also saves time, and you don’t have to compromise on the quality.
4. Offers Incredible Telehealth Technology Options
Telehealth offers extensive technology options to patients. This includes the online patient portal to see schedule appointments, test results, and emails. It also offers mobile retinal photo-screening to monitor diabetic retinopathy. Every healthcare organization should use these services and offer new services to improve patient care.
5. Retains More Patient
It saves the patient’s and doctor’s time and also uses data for better functioning. It provides the advantage of direct communication and improves trust. It allows the patients to receive treatment without traveling to another place. It retains old patients and also connects with more patients.
Significance of Telehealth
Telehealth has become an important component of the healthcare industry. It has made an impact on the problems of the healthcare system.
It has changed the current scenario of patient care and has delivered improved health outcomes. It is connecting rural providers and their patients with services easily.
Telecommunication technologies include streaming media, video conferencing, clinical training, and other services. Telehealth is majorly benefitting people living in rural areas. Remote patients could easily avail of clinical services and could be diagnosed at a reduced rate. It reduces healthcare costs by reducing high-cost visits to hospitals.
mHealth is at the early stage of development. It has great potential to grow within the market. Several organizations are planning to use mHealth as they could see growth for their business.
Also, what could be better than visiting a doctor at your convenience? Telehealth improves organization productivity and is contributing a lot to the medical industry. You could also see these healthcare tech trends
that are going to change the future of the healthcare industry.
Now you know the difference between mHealth and Telehealth, so better use them wisely in your organization. Both are helping the healthcare industry in several ways and assures a great future in healthcare.