In the era of digitization, mobile apps are transforming the healthcare industry as patients seek on-demand healthcare services for their convenience. There is an enormous rise in demand for medicine delivery, telemedicine consultancy, fitness tracking due to the outbreak of COVID-19. It may sound contradictory, but in fact, the crisis has driven us to contactless healthcare. The pandemic has provided digital health systems with new opportunities to address challenges associated with accessibility, effectiveness, efficiency, and cost of healthcare.
Mobile healthcare apps have been revolutionizing the healthcare ecosystem for many years now and have not just improved communication but also the quality of service and increased availability of resources. From medicine delivery to online fitness apps, and on-demand doctors apps are taking care of people’s physical, mental, and emotional health in every situation.
In this article, we will discuss what is mHealth, its market potential, the types and significance of the mHealth app, and the future of mHealth apps. So let’s dive in!
What is mHealth?
mHealth or mobile health is the practice of the utilization of mobile devices and smartphones for maintaining and keeping track of one’s health and wellbeing. mHealth focuses on obtaining information immediately to diagnose illnesses, track diseases and provide timely information to the user.
mhealth is another subset of the broader digital health term which refers to a specific way to utilize mobile technology to achieve improved health goals. Digital health is an umbrella term that covers all technology meant to improve patient outcomes, while mobile health is a subcategory of digital health. mHealth is limited to patient-to-patient interaction or patient self-interaction. Think of mHealth as a patient or user-directed health technology that falls into the categories of wellbeing, sports, and fitness.
For deeper insight, let’s understand the market potential of mhealth apps in healthcare.
The market potential of mHealth apps
The mHealth app market has been growing steadily over the last few years with the adoption of new business models, workflows, and technologies that are transforming the healthcare industry. The major driving factor fueling the growth of the mobile health market is the increased adoption of smartphones, as well as the continued massive investment into the digital health market. The mobile health market is expected to continue to grow in the coming years and is predicted to exceed 300 billion U.S. dollars by 2025.
North America dominates the global mhealth market and holds the highest market share of more than 38% by 2020 market owing to the introduction of different technological developments in the healthcare industry. Moreover, many Asian countries are adopting digital health strategies and technologies for managing healthcare delivery for ensuring better patient services.
Based on the application, the mHealth apps market is bifurcated into medical and fitness applications. The Fitness apps segment is projected to witness significant growth over the coming years. The rise in the awareness to stay healthy by doing regular exercises using available applications is significantly promoting the demand of this segment.
Given the importance of mHealth technology in dealing with COVID-19 as a pandemic outbreak, the virus pushed the government, public, hospitals, and institutions to expedite the adoption of mhealth apps. Mobile apps were developed to minimize the spread of the virus through community-driven contact tracing. As people are confined in their homes due to the pandemic, there is an increasing acceptance of mHealth devices by the people to keep a track of health-related information that minimizes hospitalizations, imaging tests, emergencies, and procedures. No doubt, COVID-19 is challenging the traditional methodologies of the healthcare industry and has led to the increased utilization of mHealth applications across the globe.
Types of mHealth apps
From helping with mental wellbeing to tracking health using wearables, mHealth apps are one of the key components of the healthcare industry. There are plenty of mHealth apps in the market already and more are created each day. Here we have shared some of the well-known types of mHealth apps.
- Remote monitoring apps – Remote monitoring apps allow patients to stay at their homes while still under the (virtual) care of their physician.
- Clinical and diagnostic apps – These apps help patients and doctors to check the symptoms and diagnose the illness by collecting the data of the patients, evaluating, and sharing it.
- Medical condition management – Assist individuals in monitoring their own health conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, pregnancy, and more.
- Patient health record – The mHealth applications help doctors by keeping all the records of patients in one place.
- Mental wellbeing – These apps focus on mental wellness including relaxation, stress management, and sleep. They may also offer self-help tools, therapeutic activities, and access to treatment delivered by licensed professionals.
- Fitness tracking – Health and fitness apps make it easier to motivate, track progress, and reach your weight loss or workout goals.
- Medical compliance – With the advent of these apps, people can keep all types of medical insurances in one place and claim records with live tracking.
Significance of mHealth apps
As the popularity and penetration of mHealth apps are steadily growing and adding value to the healthcare ecosystem regularly, this is high time to take a stern look and assess the importance of these apps in delivering treatment to the patients of the future.
1. Reduced Healthcare Costs
Medical appointments, consultations, and treatments can burn a hole in the patient’s pocket. With mHealth apps continuously getting better and more equipped, these apps can decrease unnecessary procedures and reduce the cost of care and time by lowering the risk of getting preventable chronic illnesses and hospital readmission rates.
2. More Convenience
Having a doctor on demand is extremely convenient. mHealth apps offer great convenience to patients, especially to the elderly people residing far away from cities. It gives them direct access to medical experts and healthcare facilities with just a few clicks on their smartphones. Plus, real-time consultation and ordering medicines – all without leaving the comfort of their own home.
3. Personalized Healthcare
Personalized healthcare is now at our fingertips. mHealth apps have the potential to deliver a level of personalization that would be otherwise impossible. Individuals nowadays are searching for exclusively personalized treatments that center around their specific prerequisites and gives the exact result. Not only do mhealth apps give access to a wealth of data about health metrics, but they also provide an opportunity to support and engage in a patient’s health goals. As per the resources, apps that are more personalized to patients’ lifestyles or include a coaching element are most effective in changing health behaviors.
4. Paperless Data Collection
One of the biggest advantages on the healthcare provider’s side is that mHealth apps offer smart and paperless medical documentation that can be accessed anytime by doctors. Test reports, medical history, prescriptions, and other important records can be well-maintained in a paperless manner through mHealth apps and can be accessed remotely.
5. Enhanced Patient Interaction
mHealth apps offer efficient medical workflow by keeping doctors connected with their patients remotely and effortlessly. Using these apps, patients can get instant solutions for every minor to a major health issue. Besides, they can talk directly to any health expert using in-app chat features. Patients can also video call doctors for virtual diagnosis and doctors can perform virtual follow-up to increase post-operative recovery for improved patient satisfaction.
The future of mHealth apps
Experts believe that by 2030, apps will have reached a mainstream position sitting alongside traditional support services, having established solid evidence of reducing healthcare costs, improving the efficiency of care delivery, and enabling greater access to high-quality care via telemedicine. mHealth will be seen as an everyday toolkit that patients use alongside or instead of drugs. Self-management with remote monitoring via a health app will be as acceptable to a patient or care provider as traditional methods of care delivery are today.
Technology has revolutionized the healthcare domain and the future of the healthcare app market seems permissible. There are many new and trending technologies creating a stir in the healthcare app market, the top mhealth apps trends that are expected to bring a profound change in the entire outlook towards healthcare are Real-time health tracking, Telemedicine services, Cloud-based technology, Internet of Things (IoT), Augmented & Virtual Reality (AR/VR), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Data Security.
Indeed, the concept of healthcare mobile apps is ever flourishing, and the pandemic has brought a clear indication for its glorious future ahead. Major manufacturers are entering into the field as they see the potential to tap into an increasingly lucrative market. In the months and years to come, mobile apps will become more user-centric, secure, offer better integration with technologies, and will increase the incorporation of apps into clinical operations and patient care protocols. With these advancements, both mHealth technologies and attitudes towards the use of healthcare apps will likely mature among the public.
Getting started with your mHealth app!
In a time where the whole world is in a state of alarm, health apps will only grow in the future. Amid the virus outbreak, when every industry has adopted a new norm of the digital revolution, mhealth apps have certainly paved a successful way for doctors and patients.
If you too are looking for a seamless way to develop your mHealth app, you are at the right place. Scalex is a leading mobile and web app development company and we help you develop the most successful healthcare app solutions for global clients. We craft apps that help you make patients’ lives easier and generate high ROI to the businesses. Apart from that, we will also help you with various ideas to lead the digitalization with flawless m-health apps. Our highly skilled team of mHealth app developers is well-versed with all the latest technologies to deliver the best mHealth app for your business.