How Mobile Health Apps are Improving Lives
Although the mobile app industry may appear to be dominated by games and other entertainment-focused products, health apps have surged in popularity in the past several years. A few thousand health apps are introduced to the market every month.
The healthcare app development industry has grown in leaps and bounds. More people want to take better care of themselves and enjoy affordable and accessible medical and wellness services. Apps are one way to help with this. Most health apps fall into one of three distinct categories.
Personal health and wellness trackers – People use these apps to keep count of their calories, fitness goals, sleep patterns, and stress levels among other things.
Health and symptom management apps – These are used by people who suffer from specific chronic conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, mental health conditions, and those who are pregnant. They either keep track of medical data themselves or remotely share it with their personal physicians.
Telemedicine or telehealth programs – It is possible to use these apps to get remote medical help directly from doctors or health systems. They are tools for virtual appointments.
While mobile health app popularity cannot be understated, you may still wonder why people rely on new and innovative tech-enabled platforms to handle everyday habits and in-depth medical care. The answers to the most common questions include all of the characteristics people want healthcare to have: lower costs, increased accessibility and convenience, increased efficiency, and more personal control.
Mobile Health Apps Decrease Care Costs
The out-of-pocket costs for all types of health and wellness services are prohibitory for many people. Mobile data collection, tracking, analysis, and sharing can to some degree reduce both expenses and pressure on physicians, clinics, and hospitals. The millions of people suffering from chronic illnesses may find relief by taking control of some of their own wellness issues. For example, tracking nutrient intake can help alleviate the excess weight, cardiovascular issues, and diabetes.
Various studies including one from IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science showed a significant potential for savings as mobile health apps expand. This primarily focused on the prevention of more serious issues. It also touched on certain therapeutic services that are usually delivered in a clinic or doctor's office that could, potentially, instead be done at home with wearable devices. Industry savings hopefully extend to patient savings over time.
Users Enjoy More Access and Convenience
The same factors that save money can also save time. Cost is not the only element that stands in the way of medical care access. Some do not have free time that matches up with available appointments. Others cannot get off work at all to take part in recommended therapy. Transportation troubles, distance from a network medical provider, and even issues like severe anxiety can remove ease of access to those who need it most.
Anyone with Internet or cell data services can now access digital tools that help maintain and improve health. These apps can be used anywhere and at any time. Although they are not a substitution for visiting a physician or getting urgent care when necessary, they can pave the way for much more convenient and accessible help.
Data Collection and Sharing Boosts Efficiency
The more information a doctor has about a patient, the better the care they can provide in a limited amount of time. This goes for both regular family physicians and emergency room doctors who may only see a person once. Hospitals can access mobile health app data to get histories, current prescriptions, results from the laboratory work, and more. The newest security protocols and encryption processes make this an extremely safe process. The risk is low and the boost to the overall efficiency and quality of care is considerable.
This becomes even more obvious when you consider telehealth or telemedicine virtual appointments. Instead of driving to the clinic to have your blood sugar levels tested and a new prescription made to manage your diabetes, the doctor can access this information directly and send the medication orders to you and the pharmacy directly. On-demand access to doctors, nutritionists, or therapists can provide much relief for you. This service only works if you can share data effectively from a distance. That is where mobile health apps shine. Everything takes far less time for both sides of the healthcare process.
Individuals Get More Control Over Their Health
One of the most powerful ways mobile health apps are improving lives has to do with the control and power put into the hands of the patients themselves. Many chronic diseases and conditions are preventable or manageable with lifestyle changes and strategic treatment plans. If you can collect appropriate data and create a workable plan of attack, you have a good chance of reclaiming better health or protecting that which you already have.
Nothing will ever replace a skilled physician, clinic technicians, and the equipment and tools at a hospital. A mobile health app cannot cure horrible diseases or handle all care needs. However, both individuals and physicians, pharmacists, psychologists, and other people dedicated to improving the health and well-being of their patients can use these apps for great benefit. Best of all, they can do so in a way that saves everybody a lot of money, time, and frustration.
The world of mobile health apps encompasses many different options. Digital health, in all its forms, is growing exponentially as more people strive to take control of their own health and well-being. From the simplest calorie counters for those who want to lose a few unhealthy pounds to in-depth medical data trackers for people with complex diagnoses, these smartphone apps make the individual a more important and effective part of healthcare as a whole.