Thanks to the penetration of mobile technology, mobile health (mHealth) care is driving a fundamental switch in the focus of the Australian healthcare system, according to a Frost & Sullivan report.
Instead of responding to acute care situations, Australian medical providers are switching to more of a prevention model for patient care. Instead of looking for care in medical facilities like hospitals, patients can seek homebound options with the help of family thanks to mobile healthcare apps and devices. The combination of revenue generated for data, mobile and voice services within healthcare was $370 billion last year alone.
“Medical and healthcare apps are the third fastest growing category for iPhone and Android phones. The Apple App store now has 17,000 health care related apps, 60 percent of which are aimed at the consumer," said Rhenu Bhuller, vice president of Healthcare for Frost & Sullivan’s Asia Pacific division in a statement. “Existing mHealth applications have shown that the combined use of a mobile network and a connected device can greatly extend the reach of healthcare platforms, and the potential for further development is huge.”
One mobile healthcare app is called Cyclebeads. Cyclebeads helps women to manage their fertility naturally using their mobile devices. According to the company blog, physicians assume great responsibility when prescribing mobile apps for their patients.
First, doctors should test all applications to make sure that they work as indicated. Second, doctors have to protect patient privacy safeguards and secure patient data obtained through the application.
Happtique runs a mobile health app store designed specifically for healthcare professionals. The store, a subsidiary of the business arm of the Greater New York Hospital Association, is formulating a system that will allow doctors to both identify and prescribe appropriate mobile apps for their patients.
According to Frost & Sullivan, diabetes management apps are the largest potential growth area for mHealth in Australia. Increased coverage from mobile networks and growing numbers of mobile phone device owners are pushing both mHealth interventions and application development.
“The storage capacity, faster computing speeds, ease of use and portability render mobile devices an optimal solution in terms of diagnosis and monitoring of chronic conditions,” concluded Bhuller.
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Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli