mHealth solutions: the future of health care

Through cloud computing, people can have seamless access to shared data, resources and common infrastructure.Over the network, organizations can offer services on demand and carry out tasks that meet changing needs and standards. Electronic applications make it possible to do all this, and more, in the health care setting.

Mobile health, or mHealth, incorporates cloud computing technology and devices such as tablets, mobile phones and personal digital assistants (PDAs) for a variety of purposes.But while it can make eHealth applications and medical information available anywhere at anytime, it must also be portable, secure and easy to use.

The range of applications and services supported by mHealth systems include:

  • Mobile telemedicine, used for remote consultations
  • Storing and sharing of patient data
  • Personalized monitoring of vitals, now enhanced through interconnectedness with wearable devices
  • Location-based medical services to ensure delivery of locally-relevant information
  • Emergency response and management
  • Pervasive access to health care information
  • But as mobile technology gathers pace, the possibilities may be limited only to our imagination

Advantages and challenges of mobile technology in health care

As governments and individuals experience ever-greater pressure to increase efficiency, mHealth solutions can offer numerous advantages.The mobility of an interconnected, wireless system means that it can be used anywhere, and specifically at the point of care.

Collaboration can reduce the risk of errors: there is less physical paperwork to get lost and a reduced risk of two doctors making different decisions.Point-of-care digital tools can help to safeguard patients and protect professionals against litigation through instant recording of data and potential for verification in real time and in the future.

mHealth can save time and money by enabling instant recording of information and a reduction in the duplication of tasks. It can enable virtual meetings, eliminating the need to move physically to a new location.Pooling of data and resources can lead to closer collaboration and stronger teams. Professional development becomes more feasible due to instant, online delivery of research, training materials and other updates.

The challenges of mHealth solutions include the practicalities of data storage and management, availability and maintenance of the network, as well as compatibility and interoperability.The biggest issue is perhaps security and privacy, raising questions about permission control, data anonymity and confidentiality, as well as the integrity of the infrastructure.The initial financial outlay and training and resistance to change within an organization may pose further challenges.

Source: medicalnews today