I’m from a small town in Maryland. My house is part of a development sandwiched between a pig farm and dairy farm, and I live twenty miles from the nearest doctor. Luckily for me, the world’s gone mobile… and so has healthcare.
Healthy Living Promoted by Apps.
Did you know there’s a term for mobile healthcare? According to National Institutes of Health (NIH), the official definition of mHealth is “the use of mobile and wireless devices to improve health outcomes, healthcare services and health research.”
Millenials, including me, are absolutely obsessed with mHealth. Reinforced by companies like FourSquare and Zynga, gamification – using game mechanics in non-game situations – is helping people adopt healthier behavior. Setting goals, challenging friends, tracking progress, earning “rewards” and sharing results via social media all promote healthy choices – from downsizing meal portions to walking to work.
Healthcare Gone Mobile.
It’s not all about game-based health applications. mHealth now encompasses actual medical evaluation, from lung capacity to cancer screening. Mobile health app downloads nearly doubled from 2011 to 2012, and it’s estimated that by 2015 there will be 500 million smartphone users with healthcare applications. There are now over 40,000 medical applications available for smartphones. According to this infographic by Allied Health World:
- 80% of doctors use smartphones and medical apps;
- 40% of doctors believe that mobile health technologies can reduce office visits; and
- mHealth has an estimated growth of 22% in the next three years.
So what does all this mean?
With so much mobile healthcare, it seems like individualized medical attention knows no bounds. mHealth helps people like me and can help people who live two hundred or two thousand miles away from healthcare facilities.
Mobile technology can do so much for the world. We’ve gone far beyond phone calls and text messages – what will they think of next?
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