The new model of health delivery – mobile health or mHealth is a result of smart devices and wearable technologies that are becoming increasingly popular throughout society. The number of individuals using these devices to monitor and manage their health is now in the hundreds of millions. As per the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), around 500 million people globally are already using personal healthcare apps. The number is expected to grow over 1 billion this year.
Heart disease, diabetes, autism, insomnia, and asthma are some of the conditions mHealth is being used to monitor. Researchers have also begun to investigate the potential benefits of mHealth. A UK based study looked into the effectiveness of mobile technology interventions in people with HIV. According to it, even a simple text message increased the person’s adherence to ART medication. The process was also found to be beneficial in assisting people to stop smoking.
The Australian government has embraced the phenomenon by developing a website advocating mHealth applications for diabetes management.
“Measure up/pressure down”, amHealth campaign conducted by the American Medical Group Foundation, has already helped improve hypertension detection and control in over 500,000 people. The patient store the BP recording using a smartphone-connected automatic blood pressure (BP) device.This reading is then automatically sent to the patient’s medical team to review and monitor the patient’s blood pressure.
It’s safe to say that mHealth is taking all the right baby steps to a medical revolution. It’s bound to grow bigger and better in the coming years.