With globalization and advancement in technology, things are changing really fast, which has led to a new trend known as mobile healthcare. Mobile healthcare, as the name suggests, simply means using your mobile phones or wireless technology to provide medical care. Usually, it is used for preventative health care purposes by providing patients and others information regarding medical and health care. Thanks to the technological advancement, this is a great new addition to our lives, especially in those countries where there is an aging population or where there are not enough care givers, not enough clinics or hospitals or the cost of medical is quite expensive.
How ‘Wearable’ Medical Devices Assist
Mobile healthcare technology allows the workers to have access to data and information for the benefit of the patients. Through tablets or mobile computers the doctors can view and save the patients’ health records. The good news is that, according to a recent survey in health care by Zebra Technologies, 77% of the patients who were hospitalized recently, felt positive about physicians using mobile device or tablets for their care. Moreover, 95% of the patients were also willing to share the details of their health, which was collected through the wearables.
The NHS in the United Kingdom provides patients with wearable medical technology on their arms that provides continuous monitoring of the patients’ health and vitals. The data that is collected through these wearables is transferred to the nurses or the doctor’s smart phones via a Wi-Fi system where they can view it anytime to monitor any changes. This way, they can find out if the patients require immediate attention and this way they can prevent the situation from getting worse.
Benefits of Mobile Healthcare
a) It allows the patients, especially those with chronic conditions to be in constant care and in touch with their care givers, over the phone without being physically present in the hospital or the clinic. This would save the costs for both, the hospital as well as the patient and would also spare the patient the discomfort of being in the hospital. It would allow them to speak to their caregiver as and when they want, discuss their issues and inform them in case of any emergencies.
b) It gives the chance of the elderly or the sick to stay at homes, rather than the hospital and be in touch with the hospital staff. Most people would not want to go to the hospital for every minor incident and would rather prefer to get medical treatment at home.
c) It saves the time, effort and expense on those who do not require immediate care. There might be a simple problem or an issue which could be solved over the phone, and this means that it would allow hospitals to focus on those patients who are in need of treatment right away.
d) It is a great source of providing health care information to everyone and it may improve the overall health standards of the general public by preventive measures, through an integrated SMS services.
e) Mobile healthcare has shown great progress with pregnancies. It offers constant reminders to pregnant women to check for certain symptoms, count the number of the kicks the baby is making and send reminders about drinking enough water or getting their ultrasound done.
f) This helps to reinforce responsible behavior in people. For example in the case of smokers, it sends messages in the form of reminders and provides help to those willing to quit the habit. When the smokers who are in the process of quitting feel they have cravings, they can simply message “craving” and they receive counseling over the phone and how to deal with it.
Future of Mobile Health Care
The mobile health care as well as the wearable technology is still in infancy when it comes to the health care industry. These innovations are ideal to tackle problems like aging population or staff shortages as well as rising medical costs. Mobility is becoming a very important factor to consider in the coming years and this innovation is definitely here to stay. However, the health care industry must educate and create awareness about it and also invest in smart mobile communication devices in order to make it more mainstream.