By Pradeep Makhija, digital marketing, Space-O Technologies.
Not so long in the past, you had to wait in long queues at the hospital or clinic before your turn arrived. The documentation process was long, and people felt the pain, as they survived the wait that tired them more than the issues they were facing.
Healthcare was unavailable in the rural areas, and certain inaccessible locations people could not bring themselves to get accustomed to the latest technologies. However, things have transformed with new mobile healthcare technologies. With a mobile app, you can seek appointments, get remote care, and even enjoy the latest care.
At present, 32% of the mhealth market at a global level is covered by traditional players such as hospitals, health insurers, and pharma companies and 28% of the market is occupied by mhealth app companies as well as the accelerators.
The global mobile health (mHealth) app market is projected to be valued at US$28.32 billion in 2018 and is expected to reach US$102.35 billion by 2023, growing at a CAGR of 29.30% during the period. It is a huge market, and you cannot ignore it at this point. You can see a lot of startups focusing their energies on getting the unorganized market more set and organized.
The idea behind having mhealth technology is to improve patient care and boost your chances of offering encrypted records and taking innovating approaches towards better caregiving facilities. Let’s talk about mhealth a bit in detail.
What is mHealth?
Mobile health, as it is known, is more personalized and customized towards the end user’s preferences. Every single person is bound to use their mobile phones, and accessing a health app makes it easier for them to keep records of their health and know how they are doing.
Localization of healthcare is possible with mHealth, which makes it easier for your caregiver to give personalized solutions, and increase health support for you.
Challenges in the mHealth segment
With the kind of reach mobile health has, it has become necessary for you to adopt it. However, no field is complete without a few challenges. The mHealth segment offers the following challenges, and we have come up with solutions that can help overcome them.
The first issue is launching a secure app solution. When it comes to mobile healthcare apps, there is a lot of information that is close to the patients, which might get leaked. Cyber attacks can release the information within minutes to unwarranted sources. You need to build a mobile storage as well as retrieving system that will handle the data, and ensure complete security. You should plan to develop apps that are HIPAA compliant.
You need to make your mobile apps compliant with the existing software solutions. It is crucial to integrate the important parts of healthcare into the mobile app. As easy as it sounds, knowing that everyone is using a mobile, the complexities involved in the integration process cannot be warded off. You need to make it possible for the mhealth apps to integrate with the existing systems, collect data and help with real-time decision making, easy and less complicated. To overcome this situation, study the existing systems well, and develop an app that is in line with the existing system. Take your time to develop this app.
When you are developing a mhealth app, you are looking for ways in which you can connect the doctors with the patients, while understanding the needs of the patients. However, in many cases, the app becomes a one-sided conversation, and it does not engage the patients as it should. As a result, your app won’t be downloaded by the target group, and eventually, you will lose out on patients. Understand why the target market needs a mhealth app, know what kind of solution they are looking for, and deliver it accordingly.
The usability of the app solution is not always taken into account. You need to first understand the target users for the mobile app solution. If it comes with a bigger learning curve, and you are not sure whether it is intuitive enough for the target market, you might face heavy usability issues. The best way to overcome this problem is by researching usage behavior for the target market and design an app interface by their needs.
The final challenge comes in the form of thinking from the end user’s perspective. You need to be able to understand the pain areas, the level of health literacy they possess, and the medical understanding they have developed over the years. Your mhealth app solution should be able to bridge the gap between the patient’s need to understand the terminology and the actual level of medical understanding they possess.
- The health app startup industry can attribute the boost to the following reasons
- Increasing healthcare costs and inaccessibility to proper healthcare
- The need for on-demand healthcare solutions
- Increasing awareness and health consciousness among the consumers
- Fitness trackers and wearable devices that seem to be the rage
How mHealth will benefit users?
The question often asked is how will mhealth impact the users. The increasing use of the fitness bands as well as other tracking devices has allowed users to keep track of their health, and know what medications they need to take. It is said that those with fitness devices are alert about their health, and manage to maintain it in the long run.
Here we will talk about the mobile health app and the benefits associated with it.
Fewer diagnostic errors and a better understanding of the health could be attributed as one of the biggest advantages of mhealth app solutions. You will know exactly what has happened to the patient and will be able to offer accurate solutions to them.
The patients can monitor their heart condition, their pulse rates and other aspects with the mhealth app solutions combined with a fitness tracker or other wearable device. The health apps will also suggest the diet that you should take for better results. From diet to keeping track of diabetes levels, there is an app that tracks almost everything.
Operations can be quite a difficult task for healthcare institutions, including clinics and hospitals. You might want to simplify them for ease of administration and better healthcare provisions. IoT combined with smartphones can offer you an insight into the operations, and predict maintenance as well as management. You will know when you are running out of an inventory or a material, and be able to get it back in time.
Medical bills can be quite a pain, and remembering to pay the bills on time can become a headache. The mhealth apps tend to inform you about the bill payments, and in some cases, they make the payments for you. you can keep track of the bills and the amount to be paid.
Patient engagement and management can take a toll on healthcare institutions. This problem is solved with the mhealth solution. the app will have a complete record of the patient’s history, the medicines they have been taking all this while, and other details.
- You can schedule an appointment with the doctor via the app
- In-app consultation is also possible, thus saving your time
- You can systemize the different processes and manage the patients efficiently
- Possibility of two-way communication and an increase in your responses makes it easier for you to engage the patients
You will know who the patient consulted with previously, and for what reasons, thus giving you an insight into the patient’s needs
Accessibility was a major issue for the healthcare industry, which has been resolved with the healthcare app solutions. People living in remote areas can check their conditions, consult doctors, video chat with them, and get the right solutions. Mhealth solutions also help in getting medicines to remote areas.
The mhealth industry is evolving fast, and the players who will be successful in this segment will be those who can get people to adopt the solution faster. For this, it is important that your solution takes into account the pain accurately, and offer financial ease to the consumers.
You ought to deliver a solution that can accurately help the users in this industry, and make healthcare usable and accessible for them.
Some of the key takeaways include
- Devise an app solution that is engaging and resolves all the pain areas
- Improve patient management and make remote health accessible
- Keep the learning curve of the apps small and ensure usability when devising the solutions
- You should create a smooth experience by integrating fitness trackers and wearable devices.