Top 5 Important New Mobile Health Trends You Should Know
These days, no one seems to be out of their mobile phones’ reach. Everywhere we go, we have our phones with us. It is not unexpected then that profit and non-profit organizations alike have started building their mobile presence to reach more people and expand their audience. Over the past few years, this phenomenon has been observed to take flight in an industry which can fully take advantage of it — the healthcare industry.
As a provider of home health care, hospice care, or therapy care, it is crucial nowadays that you establish point-of-care connectivity with your patients, and mobile healthcare offers that. It provides your patients a more convenient and faster access to your care services with just the tips of their fingers. It is good then to keep track of the following latest trends in mobile healthcare.
- Telemedicine and Telehealth
Telemedicine and telehealth are often used interchangeably. The main difference between the two is that the former specifically refers to clinical services administered by physicians while the latter has a broader scope which may include services administered by other health professionals (i.e. nurses, therapists). Both however use information and communication technologies to provide care services to patients, eliminating geographical barriers which previously were a critical factor to care administration. Mobile apps now offer video-conferencing and audio capabilities where healthcare professionals may virtually meet with patients, provide diagnoses, and even prescribe medications. Telemedicine and telehealth gained popularity among patients as they eliminated the need to line up at clinics and wait for hours on top of making care more affordable.
2. Wearable Smart Medical Devices
The last decade has seen a rise in people’s need to be healthier as evidenced by the increasing number of diet programs, gym memberships, and even Youtube workout videos. This need also paved the way for the growing demand of electronic wearable devices such as Fitbits and smartwatches. By wearing a watch or a wristband, people can now regularly monitor their health as these devices record and display the wearer’s physical activities. They can measure the user’s breathing patterns, heart rates, pulse rates, blood pressure, steps walked, and even electrocardiogram readings. They can even connect and sync with the wearer’s mobile apps to provide health and fitness recommendations.
Point-of-care connectivity is especially important in cases of emergency. Geolocation is a helpful tool in such instances that allow patients to locate the nearest hospital or health institution so they can receive emergency care. This capability is now actively put into use in some parts of the world to help control the COVID-19 virus transmission. Through geolocation, mobile apps can notify people if a COVID-19 patient is within the area. It is also widely-used by healthcare providers for field staff who provide home care which is in demand due to the pandemic. Geolocation allows providers to track their staff’s location to ensure their safety while monitoring productivity.
4. Internet of Things
The Internet of Things or IoT might seem to be a foreign concept to many but it is basically just the interconnection of computing devices which can send and receive data without human intervention. In today’s healthcare system, IoT is used to send secure patient health data from any device to a provider. Your patient’s smartwatch, for example, can send a record of his daily heart rate for the past three months, which gives the physician insights on the patient’s symptoms and trends, and enables the physician to provide a more accurate and faster diagnosis.
5. Mobile Health Payments
Probably one of the most tedious and grueling tasks when receiving care is arranging payments. This particular pain point is now being addressed by mobile apps that have partnered with healthcare providers to offer more convenient but secure payment solutions. It is now easier to remit funds through built-in mobile wallets or payment portals which can be useful in emergency cases when the patient or their family has no access to cash.
These are not exhaustive of all mobile healthcare trends there are now in the market and it might be difficult to capture all given there are new developments almost every day. Knowing the most important and impactful trends however will help you better prepare, react, and address the changing needs of the market. As a healthcare provider, you must see these as opportunities to provide better care and services to your patients while improving your operational efficiency and maximizing your revenues.
Mobile health is a crucial extension of your Electronic Health Record (EHR) as it enables you to provide quicker access to data and better care coordination. In this area, Data Soft Logic can help you through its intelligent software solutions which allows interoperability with mobile health applications such as Verify Centre, an app that features Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) by using geolocation and date- and time-stamping, to enable field staff to check in and out for easier patient visit verification, increased visibility, and stricter audit compliance. To learn more about DSL’s software solution, Verify Centre, and how we can help you keep up with industry trends, schedule a demo with us.