Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Mobile Health Apps to Increase with Smartphone Adoption

With the current popularity of smartphones with the general public, it makes perfect sense that these devices would be playing a larger role in mobile health applications. According to Juniper research, approximately three million smart phone owners will be using them for this purpose by the year 2016.

I can see handheld devices, such as smartphones, being an increasingly important part of healthcare in the future. They can be used to monitor cardiac patients without the person having to stay in a hospital, and this application could be used to monitor patients diagnosed with other types of chronic diseases.

This type of technology is already being used to monitor patients with diabetes. The camera function on smartphones can be used to provide information to dermatologists about wound care. As long as the camera on the phone can provide a good quality image, the doctor can monitor whether a patient is healing properly or if further treatment measures for ulcers and other disorders affecting the skin are necessary.

I was especially interested to learn that the company is predicting that users will download 44 million healthcare apps in 2012 and that this number will increase to 142 million in 2016. Over time, I can see smartphone technology being used to store and share health records.  Any application that can help doctors access information about their patients quickly and efficiently can only be good news for healthcare providers as well as the patients under their care.


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