A large percentage of the population living in remote areas coupled with limited resources has led to a big healthcare gap in India. However, the burgeoning mobile communication, with 1.0217  billion active connections as of October 2018, in the country means that the healthcare sector is poised for innovation. This is where mobile health or mHealth holds the potential to overcome the challenges related to access, cost and quality.
What is mHealth?
While there’s no standard definition for mHealth, it refers to medical and public health practice supported by mobile phones and other wireless devices. One of the aims of a mobile phone is to improve communication and connectedness and through mHealth you can always remain connected with your doctor from any part of the globe.
Easy access to healthcare services
According to a Lancet study, India ranked 145th  among 195 countries in terms of quality and accessibility to healthcare, behind China, Bhutan and Sri Lanka. Change in lifestyle has resulted in newer types of diseases that require access to specialists, which are fewer in number. In such a scenario, mHealth holds the potential to compensate for the deficiencies in workforce and infrastructure.
Through mHealth, those deprived of quality care can reach out to doctors and caregivers anytime they need without actually having to visit them physically. At the same time, medical professionals who can involve in patient engagement whom they can’t reach out to due to paucity of time.
Patients can connect with doctors in real time through mHealth apps. By discussing a condition and its symptoms, there’s a possibility of a potentially life-threatening disease being identified early. Doctors can also prescribe the necessary medications that can help alleviate the disease right at the beginning, before it goes out of control.
Also, several mHealth apps help collect patient information and store them at a single place which makes it easier for doctors to access them when needed. They can instantly know the medical history of a patient, the treatment prescribed for him and proceed accordingly.
Enhances efficiency of doctors
A doctor’s job is stressful, which may impact the efficiency. mHealth can take relieve them of this stress to some extent by aiding them to record a patient’s history with minimal errors. Also, many mHealth apps automate a lot of paperwork, which is a cumbersome and erroneous exercise. This, in turn, enhances the efficiency of doctors.
At the same time, going paperless reduces wastage and cuts the hospital supply costs. The clutter is reduced and at the same time patient data is stored in a safe and secured environment.
Improved patient care
The ultimate goal for any physician is improved patient care and mHealth can help them deliver on that front. Through mHealth doctors can get an ever-present clinical decision support tool through which they can provide patients with the best treatment plans.
For instance, with a clinical decision support application embedded on a smartphone, physicians can get notified about a series of symptoms which they may not have otherwise considered. Also, such an application can provide alerts in case a patient is allergic to any drug. All of these culminate into improved patient care and improves profitability for doctors in the long run.
For doctors to capture mHealth data, store and dissect it in a meaningful order, it’s essential to get the right infrastructure in place.
Naina Kapoor a full time blogger and a passionate writer. I love to write on niches like Finance and electronics market, lifestyle, Loans, technology, finance info. like EPF, e aadhar etc. Travelling and online shopping is my area of interest and for my best of knowledge I let myself updated with any introduction of new shopping platforms and technologies like EMI/EMI card, retail technology and marketing trend.
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