Apps transform healthcare industry

Enterprise Innovation editors
Enterprise Innovation
The growing uptake of digital health applications on smartphones is radically changing the way healthcare is delivered, according to Frost & Sullivan.
 
Accessing health information on mobile devices will soon be the new standard, and health apps will play an ever increasing role in this system, the company said. Health apps can not only perform relatively simple tasks, such as counting calories, but also help consumers and healthcare professionals track, monitor, and share personal-health information for a variety of increasingly complex conditions, including heart failure, respiratory illness, and mental illness.
 
F&S estimates that in 2011, there were roughly 17,000 health-related applications for iPhones, Android-based devices, and other smartphones and tablets.
 
Currently, simple apps that are easily downloadable for smartphones or tablets constitute the majority of mHealth-related apps. They require relatively unsophisticated tools and calculators with lower-levels of security and analytics than apps intended for healthcare professionals.
 
Despite the promising future of mobile health apps, there are several issues that have to be addressed before patients and doctors can truly enjoy the benefits of mobile health.
 
“Achieving sustained health outcome depends on consumer engagement with health treatments,” said F&S research analyst Malgorzata Filar. “Many chronic conditions require careful adherence to voluntary behaviours, such as monitoring nutrition, managing weight, and exercising healthy choices.”
 
She notes that the best piloted programs often fail because these lifestyle changes are hard to follow consistently over a continued period of time.
 

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