Healthcare systems deal with disease prevention, early detection, diagnosis, investigation, and timely, affordable, and safe treatment. For the delivery of services in the health sector, communication is the key to linking the service provider and the patients. In recent years, mobile technology has provided the healthcare sector with a number of communication venues. The convenience comes from the fact that mobile technology has significantly aided in time management and cost savings for healthcare at every level, from hospital visits to private doctor consultations.
Evolution of Mobile Technology in Telemedicine
Telemedicine (TM), an application of telecommunication and information technology, enables health care providers to assess, diagnose, and treat patients while working remotely. The WHO refers to TM as “healing at a distance.” Experts in the Shandong Province discovered that the TM platform may significantly contribute to patient management in pandemic circumstances. The Shandong Province expert panel requested that Chinese authorities share their ideas for using telemedicine to treat severely ill COVID-19 patients on the “Cloud ICU” platform in order to slow the worldwide spread of the virus.
Applications of mobile technology for health
Mobile phones have the potential to become a powerful medical tool to support healthcare at all levels. Some examples of their usage are as follow:
- Estimating calories and exercise to monitor pulse rate or electrocardiogram
- Communicating with doctors in an emergency
- Reporting disasters with an automated transmission of exact location and time
- Using artificial intelligence to help the diagnosis
- Detecting adverse drug reactions or pointing out drug interactions
- Follow-ups and monitoring a patient’s progress
- Sharing results post-discharge to provide credible real-time data with the identity hidden or with patients’ consent for research to guide practice or policy in healthcare.
mHealth Technology in Disease Prevention
There is always a need for coordinated communication to combat the disease most effectively in order to avoid and manage it. Mobile technology has a significant impact on disease preventive initiatives, immunization campaigns, data collecting, and patient motivation for medication adherence. A smartphone can easily use artificial intelligence to recommend the standardized optimal “to-do list” and can improve continuity of care through better maintenance of patient medical records, aiding in disease prevention. It can comprehensively and accurately extract information from the patient on predesigned templates.
Mobile Technology for Community Health Programs
Numerous community health initiatives have benefited tremendously from mobile technology, including the reduction of maternal and child morbidity and death rates as well as the burden of infectious and non-communicable illnesses. By teaching community health workers (CHWs) on how to use mobile technology for their services, this has been accomplished. Maternal, neonatal, and child health (MNCH), nutrition, immunization, communicable disease control, and disease monitoring programs are just a few of the initiatives the public health department and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are involved in. CHW productivity may be increased and their burden can be decreased with the proper usage of mobile technology.
Application of Mobile Technology in a Pandemic
A pandemic is an outbreak that has spread far and afflicted a significant number of people. The virus causing COVID-19, also known as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, is contagious (SARS-CoV-2). Since its discovery in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, the pandemic has continued due to its global expansion. Additionally, it has profoundly upset the world economy. Social seclusion, wearing face masks in public, ventilation and air filtration, hand washing, covering one’s mouth when sneezing or coughing, disinfecting surfaces, monitoring, and self-isolation for those who are exposed or exhibiting symptoms are among the preventive measures for COVID19 that are advised. There are several vaccinations being created and disseminated. The mHealth platform has recently provided a relief from dealing with epidemics, with some suggested remedies.
The formidable mobile technology known as “mHealth” has the capacity to alter the way that healthcare is provided. As a result, it must carve out a space for itself in the technological world. However, it anticipates a number of challenges to overcome in relation to several mHealth sectors, including stakeholders, the market, privacy, data security, finance, and research studies proving effectiveness and cost, which must be addressed. Beyond simply facilitating provider-to-provider contact, the usage of mobile devices in healthcare has been welcomed. Although numerous studies have shown that the employment of cutting-edge technology in smartphones will lead to a better future for the health sector, formal, standardized algorithms are still more in the conceptual stage than they are in the development or usage stages.
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