In the age of innovation, it is no surprise that mobile technology is rapidly affecting every industry. Healthcare providers and app developers have been adapting to the ever-changing needs and demands of modern-day consumers. Carefully curated mobile health apps (mHealth apps) offer a magnitude of benefits to both ends of the medical equation. However, they also pose some risks to the safety of privacy and disclosure of sensitive information.
What Are mHealth Apps?
Mobile health apps entail the use of tablets, smartphones, and other mobile communication devices to enhance the quality of medical services. They offer unparalleled opportunities to transform the conventional care space into a more accessible and accurate one. MHealth apps have enabled medical practitioners to optimize their time and resources while improving the patient’s accessibility and health results.
Top 3 Benefits of Mobile Health Apps
With big tech giants penetrating the mHealth industry, the advantages of these apps keep growing. Here are some of the most prominent ones:
1. Decrease the costs for both patients & healthcare providers.
Mobile health apps could lead to a drop in unnecessary procedures, and a reduced risk of getting preventable chronic illness will drive the overall medical costs down. Combined with lower readmission rates, the estimated potential healthcare savings round up to about $300 billion.
2. Improve the doctor-patient interactions.
If any information gets lost in translation or is omitted from the patient’s file, it could have negative long-term medical consequences. With mHealth apps, doctors will be able to manage their records with greater ease. Patients will be able to accurately report their symptoms 24/7, regardless of their location.
3. Reduce preventable medical errors, with larger data pools.
Instead of searching through endless paper files, running a high chance of missing a vital medical detail, doctors will be able to access a centralized digital record of all previous patient interactions. This will minimize the times for diagnoses and appropriate treatment solutions, all while increasing the accuracy and efficiency of healthcare services.
The Threats of mHealth Apps
Over 120,000 mHealth apps are available on the market, with little to no regulation. This makes it overwhelming and time-consuming for healthcare providers to sift through the options while increasing the potential hazards of malfunctioning and lack of medical value.
Like other digital technologies, mHealth apps store and circulate sensitive personal information. Security and privacy concerns are the main pain points of revolutionary healthcare technology. In the unfortunate event of a leak of data, the patient’s most vulnerable records may be jeopardized. This could result in irreparable financial and reputation costs.
The Bottom Line
Like other tech innovations, mHealth apps have introduced an untapped potential for speedier, precision-based solutions that can save money for both providers and consumers alike. The lack of standardized regulations and the heightened risks of a leak of sensitive data show that the industry has a long way to go until mHealth apps could serve to their full capacity. Until then, thorough research, numerous trials, and extreme caution should be exercised.