Mobile technology has changed the way many industries do business. The banking industry, for example, used to involve long waiting times and tedious form-filling. Now, an individual can easily perform any banking transaction remotely, provided they have a smartphone handy. Other industries like the travel industry and the food service industry have also experienced similar improvements and overhauls, simply by adopting mobile technology into their work processes.
The healthcare industry is no exception to this phenomenon. With mobile technology in the hands of doctors, nurses, caregivers, and other professionals, healthcare has become much better in terms of speed of delivery and degree of quality. It has also improved with how efficient it is with information, resources, and accessibility. This has made healthcare more accessible to people from all walks of life, no matter their income or how remote their current location.
But how exactly does mobile technology do all of this for healthcare? With this article, we’ll help explain just exactly how and in what ways.
Mobile medicine makes healthcare more accessible to patients in remote areas.
One of the greatest challenges of healthcare is the efficient and reliable treatment of patients in very remote and war-torn areas. While there certainly has been many efforts in the past made by humanitarian and philanthropist organizations to try and provide medical access to these locations, these efforts are not sustainable in the long run, as they involve not only a large amount of funding but also a considerable risk to the personal safety of the healthcare staff.
Thanks to the proliferation of mobile technology, distance becomes less of an obstacle when it comes to providing access to healthcare. Through the use of an online app, patients can immediately have a face-to-face consultation with their doctor through their smartphones, eschewing the need for expensive and possibly dangerous traveling. The camera technology inherent in mobile devices can help with the visual diagnosis of skin conditions and wounds as well.
This leveraging of smartphone technology also lets international health insurance providers check up on their policyholders and give them the medical assistance and resources they need, even if they’re assigned to far-off locations. Now Health International, for example, extensively uses mobile tech-based telemedicine in order to provide medical attention to expatriates and retirees abroad. This ensures that their policyholders are covered for any emergency no matter where they are.
Mobile medicine allows doctors and healthcare professionals easy and reliable access to patient records no matter where they are.
Having reliable and speedy access to the patient’s medical records is an important part of the proper administration of healthcare. Without it, a great many things could go wrong, which could easily result in harmful and potentially fatal complications for the patient. For example, the patient might get diagnosed with the wrong condition or prescribed the incorrect dosage of medicine. They may be made to undergo unnecessary tests and procedures. This and much more can result if the doctor or health professional treating the patient is unable to reliably and quickly access the patient’s medical history.
The adoption of mobile technology gives healthcare providers that quick and reliable access to medical records that they need to do their job well. By connecting their smartphones and tablets into their organization’s database, not only will they be able to access a specific patient’s entire medical history at the tap of a button, but they will also be able to do it wherever they are.
This system also ensures that doctors and healthcare providers can update the information just as easily, with those updates reflected immediately throughout the entire organization. Such a benefit minimizes the chances of other healthcare professionals making diagnostic mistakes by viewing outdated information.
Mobile medicine helps patients take better care of themselves.
When patients leave a doctor’s care, they’re usually left to a lot of instructions in order to administer care to themselves, so that they can recover fully from their condition in the comfort of their own home. However, depending on their current state of mind and health, there’s a very good chance that they may not be able to follow these instructions to the letter, either by being confused by the instructions themselves or forgetting self-care steps crucial to recovery and condition management. This can result in a protracted recovery time and multiple succeeding visits to the doctor.
Medical apps can easily help in this regard by serving as a sort of an automated personal medical assistant for patients, one that has all the information they need to recover while at the same time facilitating a way for the patient’s doctor to monitor them. For example, the app can automatically remind the patient to take their medicine at specified times during the day, ensuring that they don’t forget. They can warn the patient of potential side effects and notify them of what symptoms should necessitate an immediate call to their doctor.
The app can also remind patients to input vital signs such as resting heartbeat count or blood pressure in a regular fashion, helping them and their providers keep track of their health without the need for repeated visits and consultations.
Mobile medicine allows for cheaper and more accessible medical equipment.
Besides giving healthcare professionals and patients a way to quickly access information as well as communicate with each other, mobile technology has also given rise to the miniaturization and portability of sophisticated medical equipment. For example, Canadian tech firm Lionsgate Technologies has already rolled out a working, mass-produced pulse oximeter that connects to a smartphone in order to monitor pulse and oxygen levels. Instead of being bulky and hard to carry around, this oximeter is a fraction of the original device’s size and weight, while also costing much less.
Other hardware such as mobile-compatible ultrasound machines have also been given the green light and should be mass-produced soon enough. Obviously, this allows hospitals in remote and impoverished areas to afford life-saving technology, giving them the ability to take better care of their patients.
The adoption of mobile technology into medicine presents a brighter future for the healthcare industry, enabling it to do even more with its resources while massively improving the way it delivers quality care to its patients. As this particular facet of technology continues to evolve and advance beyond our wildest expectations, no doubt we will see healthcare truly realize its aim of being able to improve the lives and health of citizens from all walks of life.