Mobile Apps and the Path of Wellness

Today the healthcare market is witnessing a steady flow of mobile apps thanks to innovations in software apps and the change in the whole way of looking at…

Today the healthcare market is witnessing a steady flow of mobile apps thanks to innovations in software apps and the change in the whole way of looking at problems and solutions. Acceptability of products like smart phones, tablet computers and personal digital assistants continue to encourage entry of more and more complex mobile apps into the healthcare market.

World of Mobile Apps

The developers are using mobile platforms to deliver a wide range of useful health-related apps. iPhones, Androids, cloud computing and many other mobile devices from developers have successfully penetrated into the healthcare field in a short span of time, giving patient wellness the extra push. Evolving mobile healthcare technologies provide consumers with real-time care. Physicians now agree that mobile health practices are a better way for providing improved patient care.

Apple came out with a third generation iPad last month. It has several features that appeal to the medical community. The increased graphics capability and camera resolution combined with the high speed internet, opens up a new path for several applications in telemedicine and m-Health in general. The high resolution ‘retina display’ gives a better view of images to radiologists. This model with an improved HD screen would set the stage for several clinical uses, argue some experts. iPads have gained popularity in medical academics too.

Many hospitals and clinics are on the path of adopting e-health apps today. Take for example the Sarasota Memorial Hospital, Florida and Memorial Hermann Healthcare System, Houston, where iPhones are widely used. For “anywhere anytime computing”, they find iPhone as the best platform for running applications of their choice. The Texas Health Resources, a healthcare provider with 24 hospitals has half-a-dozen smart phone and tablet apps running on iOS and Android.

“Non-phone” Wellness Apps

It looks like time has arrived for the “no-phone” wireless wellness devices. AT&T has recently launched a child tracking device and a personal monitoring device meant for senior citizens besides a GPS locator paving the way for further innovations in tracking technology. The company is already selling the “BioHarness” a physiological monitor that records heart rate and other related data. It plans to sell these tracking devices embedded in clothes and provide wireless connectivity needed to push the gathered data to the web and smart phones. It has also identified a market with senior citizens, particularly those who wish to remain in their homes. It hopes that once these apps start feeding healthcare providers with updated information without any interruption, the huge population – young and old, healthy and chronically ill, would seek their conditions to be monitored. According to company officials, this would perk up the demand for these new devices.

According to a study by the Boston Consulting Group and Telenor Group, with Mobile Healthcare cost of care for the elderly would go down by 25% and that it would positively influence the economic growth of nations and promise better life for individuals. A 2011 m-Health Report projection show the number of people using Mobile Health Apps touching 500 million. That means for the next two years the health care market is going to keep us engrossed.