Mobile Medical Apps: Should You Use Them Or Not?

Medical Apps

Healthcare industry is seeing a revolution with quick accessibility to thousands of efficient medical apps and health apps directly from the smartphones and tablets. Various health apps are getting developed every day enhancing healthcare services globally. There are nearly 1, 65,000 medical apps currently available in the app market that can be downloaded onto your mobile to manage medical problems and diagnostics. With great ideas and designs, many of these apps are backed with good research and support thus making them highly reliable. Developed economies like Europe and America are already showing exponential adoption of mobile Medical apps. Asia Pacific, Latin America, Middle East and Africa are following at a consistent rate in recent days. Safety stands first when it comes to treating a patient. Digital evolution is taking us closer to several new approaches in the way patients are treated today. Medical Apps are taking its place.  Concerns are there in its acceptance but effective app development strategy can make many of these apps valuable to both patients and healthcare professionals.

Mobile Medical Apps are Going Mainstream

More and more end users are getting familiarised with Mobile medical apps in recent days. Healthcare professionals are also showing a high level of acceptance towards this transformation.

Hundreds of Medical Apps hit the store every day. Whether you wish to gain tips for preventing and managing your back pain or you are looking for a weight loss program, or you wish to prepare yourself for a surgery, there are medical apps for that. Right from information till support, these apps prove to be the best source.

Increasing penetration of smartphones and tablets can be one of the major factors contributing towards the growth of this technology. Mobile health applications market is likely to touch 25.39 billion dollars in 2017 which is far way up compared to 14.51 in 2015 and is likely to go beyond 33 billion dollars by end of 2018 and nearly 59 billion USD by 2020.

Medical Apps

# Not only fitness apps, but even monitoring, consultation and diagnostic apps are gaining more popularity in recent times.

# mHealth apps are not only targeted at patients but there are many for health care professionals too. Right from drug reference, diagnosis, study tools, research facts, till clinical support, these apps are designed to meet various factors.

# Several developing countries are adopting this digital revolution and are ready to see considerable growth in their healthcare sector. But how far these apps maintain the quality of patient engagement depends upon the features that each of the apps has.

# Developers of mHealth apps need to focus on several factors to make these apps safe and secure to use. Such apps should have guided clinical involvement.

Medical Apps

Popular Mobile Health Apps as Rated by Healthcare Professionals

For Android

  • Weight Watchers Mobile
  • White Noise Lite
  • Lose It!
  • First Aid
  • RunKeeper
  • Emergency First Aid/Treatment
  • Instant Heart Rate
  • Fooducate – empowers users to accomplish diet, health and fitness
  • Glucose Buddy
  • Pocket First Aid & CPR

For iOS

  • Calorie Counter and Diet Tracker
  • Weight Watchers Mobile
  • Lose It!
  • White Noise Lite
  • First Aid
  • Runkeeper
  • Stroke Riskometer
  • Emergency First Aid & Treatment Guide
  • Instant Heart Rate
  • Fooducate

Key Players

App stores will remain the main distribution channel for mHealth apps until 2020, says a new report. Key players in bringing these revolutionary digital solutions to healthcare sector right onto the mobile phones include; Apple Inc, Android, Blackberry, Motorola, Samsung, Nokia and Panasonic. New developing companies are popping every day in every market. Apart from these distribution channels, doctors and hospitals have a greater role to play in helping patients to use apps that can benefit them.

Mobile Health Apps

Benefits of mHealth Applications

  • An alternate solution to tackle the rising healthcare costs at hospitals
  • More and more adoption can have high impact in the overall healthcare sector
  • Improved Cloud computing technologies is giving more flexibility in the functionality of mHealth apps
  • Instant access to medical literature, medical records, patient information, clinical practice, research facts, nursing tools, clinical support systems
  • Convenient
  • Improved medical attention to patients in remote areas too
  • Improved decision making
  • Enhanced doctor-patient communications

Tips to Developers

mobile-app-developers-tips-keyideas

It is time for developers to get into a healthy app challenge!! The need is to reduce the gap between assurance and reality. Huge opportunity and fierce competitions exist in this market and to get a hold of success, mHealth app developers need to focus more on the quality and functionality of these apps.

  • Apart from proper clinical involvement and FDA approvals, the focus can also be towards integrating with APIs and developing apps valuable to customers.
  • Data security and compliance should be prioritised to make them more efficient. Apps should be in line with the practice guidelines.
  • By strictly following clinical guidelines, mHealth application developers can gain more popularity among end users call it the patient or health care professionals.

Current Trend

mobile health apps

  • Mobile health apps are becoming more mainstream
  • Mobile technology is transforming healthcare professionals approach
  • Mobile Medical applications improve patient engagement
  • Improved convergence of information, connectivity and technology contributing to better and instant service

Conclusion

Mobile health is becoming a reality. The market is predicted to reach a significant size in the coming years. Health apps are developed with the potential to benefit both patient and doctors. There is a paradigm shift as this constitutes to cost savings too. mHealth applications are getting safer day-by-day. The impact in healthcare is huge. These apps are proving to have the power to transform medical practices today and in the near future. They are getting ethical and effective. So, go ahead and start using them. Save a visit to your doctor. Several doctors have started prescribing medical apps other than drugs and therapies. These frameworks offer positive experiences that are worth going through. They are going to be lifesavers. Integrated care is here to stay and grow.

This article is edited to include latest updates.

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Meenakshi Krishnan

Meenakshi Krishnan

Meenakshi Krishnan is a Content Consultant at OpenXcell, a pioneering Mobile App Development Company in India and USA. A techie at heart, Meenakshi is passionate about the start-up ecosystem, entrepreneurship, latest tech innovations, and all that makes this digital world. When she is not writing, she loves to read, cook and paint. Prior to this, she was working for a technology marketing company based in Norwalk as a content contributor. You can reach Meenakshi at LinkedIn and Twitter