mHealth Mobile

What is mHealth?

mHealth  is a term used for the practice of medicine and public health, supported by mobile devices, and is a division of i-Health.  The mHealth field has expanded greatly lately due to the discovery of many wireless devices, and gadgets, that aid in both the diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment of disease.  The iPhone itself, has shown tremendous powers, leveraged by peripherals and applications in the mHealth field, and its potential is just being started.  
The practices, applications and uses of mHealth certainly are utilized in developed countries, but has an even greated impact on Third World Countries.  To understand why this is so, one only needs to see the deep penetration that cell phone technology has made in developing countries, where cell phones outnumber access to water, or even toothbrushes. The field, then, largely emerges as a means of providing greater access to larger segments of a population in developing countries, as well as improving the capacity of health systems in such countries to provide quality healthcare.

mHealth: Uses and Applications

1)  Collection of Health Data

2) Delivery of Healthcare Information

3) Real Time Monitoring of Patients Vitals Signs, or other Variables

4) Direct Provision of Care (Telemedicine)


1) Collection of Health Data

Currently, there is an abilty to track diseases such as malaria, HIV/AIDS, and TB  through the cheap, efficient mobile devices.  This data aids in the effective strategy of health organizations to plan, and allocate resources, and apply targets intelligently and efficiently.
In the past, it was difficult to know the true extent of any particular outbreak, or penetration of a disease, but those days, thanks to the pervasiveness of mobile devices, are gone.

2) Delivery of Healthcare Information

The best medical library is in your hand, in the form of a smart phone.  All that is needed is a little medical net-savvy, and battery power. And the smartphone allows for communication with Operation Central in outbreaks. And, there exist the potential to send photos of slides of blook, or body fluids, via tools such as Cellscope, that is a peripheral of an iPhone.

3) Real Time Monitoring of Patients Vitals Signs, or other Variables

In developed countries, this application is useful for chronic illnesses, with devices such as theViSi, pictured below.
This device was approved by the FDA in August 2012 for use in non-ICU hospital settings, but it reasonable to assume that, in the future, it will commonly be used in home healthcare situations, in rural regions, as well as in undeveloped countries.
Currently, there much work and research in the field of mHealth in Nanotechnology, nanosensors that act as a way to monitor certain variables of patients. One example is the work of Proteus Digital Health, which is implanting microsensors in pills, to allow for remote monitoring of compliancy, and, most likely in the future, drug levels remotely!  Also, sensors are placed in the underwear of US Soldiers to monitor their health, while in the field.

4) Direct Provision of Care (Telemedicine)

Telemedicine is much more doable now, with the aide of the recent advances in broadband, and  the tremendous expansion of wireless networks for smartphones.  Before, there were problems in using Telemedicine  because of the spotty  connectivity outside of urban areas, but that is much improved today, so that an effective Telemedicine network can be established.  This mode of treating patients is very common in India, Australia, and Canada, and is growing in the USA, which is sure to increase, since re-imbursement from Medicare and private insurers is increasing.  The University of Arizona has established a fantastic, useful system of Telemedicine  in the state of Arizona, that more states and countries are sure to emulate in the future. ” The Arizona Telemedicine Program is a large, multidisciplinary, university-based program that provides telemedicine services, distance learning, informatics training, and telemedicine technology assessment capabilities to communities throughout Arizona.”Copy, Florida?”


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