Doctors and other healthcare experts expect mobile healthcare apps for iPhone and Android to be the biggest medical tech trends in 2015. What do you think?
Healthcare apps including those for tracking fitness, prescriptions, and making doctor's appointments are some of the mobile tech innovations used by people today.
There are now over 100,000 apps dedicated to mobile health, according to the mHealth App Developer Economics 2014 report. That's twice the amount of mobile health apps compared to 2 years ago.
Mobile Tech Trend: Connecting to Our Health
Global health and fitness mobile app market is worth about $4 billion, and expected to increase to $26 billion by 2017.
According to figures from the Google Play Store, diet tracking app MyFitnessPal was the most downloaded application under the health and fitness category this year. Next most downloaded apps were Google Fit, Apple’s Health app, and Microsoft Health
This growth of electronic health records is also fueling expansion of mobile health tech.
The number of patients with online access to their records has almost doubled over the past 3 years, growing from 26% in 2011 to 50% in 2014.
- 75% of patients review their test results online, making it the most popular use of electronic health records.
- 64% of patients schedule their drsappointments online
- 59% of patients submit medication refill requests online
This growth is not only happening in the U.S.; the demand for mobile-based diagnostic tools is growing from urban Mexico to rural Botswana to American homes. The strategic use of mobile data, the range of diseases being targeted via mobile device, the approach by which they’re being piloted, and how they’re being brought to market is rapidly advancing
Is the Future of Health Techy?
Next year is expected to see an exponential growth of mobile-enabled diagnostic/screening tools, including:
- Mobile phones used as a screening tool for cervical cancer
- A mobile phone attachment for imaging of the retina to provide early detection of diabetic retinopathy (primary cause of blindness)
As part of this trend, the U.S. National Science Foundation awarded a 5-year $3-million grant to Cornell University researchers earlier this year to expand the deployment of mobile technologies that can be used to provide healthcare in remote areas that would otherwise be undeserved.
Mobile healthcare tech is also expected to help reach patients for whom exercise and health are considered boring. Mobile developers are working with psychologists, behaviorists and engineers to make mobile health applications more fun and engaging for average, non-athletic individual.
The Healthcare industry is planning to introduce the ‘gamification’ of healthcare – finding ways to make positive behavioral change more fun. Wearable healthcare tech trends are also on the rise. More wearable mobile medical devices incorporated into clothing, instead of imbedded in a smartphone.
Samadi's Take on Health Tech
• Factors such as sleep analysis, continuous monitoring of blood glucose for diabetics, blood pressure readings, pulse and heart rhythms, and even average levels of activity based on steps taken can provide doctors and clinicians with a much more complete assessment of a person’s health condition.
Collecting, analyzing and securely providing data from personal health sensors is already emerging within the medical and consumer wearable markets and we can only expect to see more widespread integration with existing telemedicine and health management platforms.
We should also expect to see an increase in virtual consultations with both general practitioners and specialists as the platforms become more focused on providing faster and more relevant services to their users using global resources.
Remote diagnostic tools and personal telemetry will inevitably lead to reduced physical visits, allowing healthcare providers to balance response, cost, convenience, efficacy, accuracy, and compliance.