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How Mobile Applications are Changing Healthcare

The widespread adoption and use of mobile technologies is opening up new and innovative ways to improve health and health care delivery. Medical mobile applications are expanding the capability of healthcare providers to customize treatment for patients. Over the last few years, several mobile apps have been developed that offer quick access to evidence-based medical research from mobile devices. Healthcare applications are making it possible for physicians to view x-rays, review clinical notes, track health progress and access information to any medical condition through major mobile platforms such as iPhone, Android, Blackberry, and Windows.

It is estimated that the market for mobile healthcare apps will be worth $400 million by 2016. Moreover, according to the FDA:

  • 500 million smartphone users worldwide will be using a health care application by 2015
  • By 2018, 50 percent of the more than 3.4 billion smartphone and tablet users will have downloaded mobile health applications. These users include health care professionals, consumers, and patients.
    mobile application

Mobile apps also help people manage their own health and wellness, promote healthy living, and gain access to useful information when and where they need it. The FDA regulates mobile apps that can pose a greater risk to patients, but exercises enforcement discretion in the case of mobile medical apps that

  • Help patients/users self-manage their disease or condition without providing specific treatment suggestions;
  • Provide patients with simple tools to organize and track their health information;
  • Provide easy access to information related to health conditions or treatments;
  • Help patients document, show or communicate potential medical conditions to health care providers;
  • Automate simple tasks for health care providers; or
  • Enable patients or providers to interact with Personal Health Records (PHR) or Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems.

Mobile Medical Applications – Some Latest Developments

App detects mood swings via voice analysis in people with bipolar disorder:

Researchers at the University of Michigan have developed a Smartphone app that monitors subtle qualities of a person’s voice during everyday phone conversations. It shows promise for detecting early signs of mood changes in people with bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks.

The app runs in the background on an Android smart phone and automatically monitors the patients’ voice patterns during calls. Only the patient’s side of everyday phone calls is recorded – and the recordings themselves are encrypted and kept off-limits to the research team. While the app still needs much testing before widespread use, early results from a small group of patients show its potential to monitor moods while protecting privacy.

A-CHESS app helping people overcome alcoholism

The recent report of a new smartphone app offers hope for alcoholics. Clinical trials at the University of Wisconsin have found that a new smartphone app called A-CHESS may help alcoholics overcome their addiction. Designed to deal with addiction, the app helped recovering alcoholics stay sober or reduce their risky drinking.

The clinical trial involved about 350 participants who successfully completed treatment for alcoholism in five residential programs — three in the Midwest and two in the northeastern United States. It was found that the participants who used the A-CHESS app had nearly a 65 percent chance of abstaining from drinking in the year after their release from a treatment center, compared to those who left the center without using the app.

By the end of the year, about 52 percent of patients using A-CHESS had remained consistently alcohol-free, compared with about 40 percent of patients who received conventional forms of support.

Medical mobile applications development services are available to provide physicians with important healthcare data and improve patient care. It is also important that they have mobile medical websites to improve their visibility on mobile devices. A mobile web design company can help with this. Professional companies provide their medical clients with websites that are easily navigable, quick loading and SEO-friendly, and optimized for viewing on mobile devices.

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