3 Things You Need to Know About mHealth

January 24, 2014 Lisa Fitzpatrick

Mobile technology has grown exponentially over the past two decades. It has completely changed the way people communicate and conduct business and is now in the process of transforming the healthcare industry as well. As more hospitals and healthcare organizations look to improve efficiency and the quality of care (patient-centered, accessibility, etc.), digital technologies—especially mobile devices—will play a key role in meeting these objectives.

Today’s mobile phone is more than just talk and text. At RL, we use our phones (usually iPhone or Android) for social media, sharing photos, face-to-face video communication, GPS, alarms, calendars, email and so much more! With the astounding array of apps, the options are almost endless.

Here are 3 things you needs to know about Mobile Health, commonly known as mHeath.

It's getting bigger! mHealth has a very big presence within the app world and will continue to grow as more people purchase smart phones with detailed data plans. Right now, the majority of mHealth apps are focused primarily on personal health; wellness and fitness apps focusing on weight loss, dieting and route tracking (running, biking, etc.) At RL, we have many runners and cyclists, so naturally the route-tracking apps are very popular. However, apps that target the consumer wellness and fitness segment are just the beginning. For example, watch this video from 2012 about the future of healthcare, it doesn't look too 'futuristic' anymore, does it?

The target is changing. The future of mHealth will be targeted more towards health professionals, changing the practice of medicine beyond anything we could ever imagine! As mobile technologies improve and become more appreciated by industry stakeholders, developers will create new programs that focus on helping healthcare professionals and organizations meet the objectives mentioned above.

It's more than just apps. Mobile devices can provide physicians with improved real-time decision support tools, telemedicine options, remote monitoring and consultation, electronic records and capture patient data, just to name a few. RL Solutions has already jumped on this opportunity with the launch of RL6:Mobile, the first app that allows RL6 users to quickly report an adverse event or patient feedback right from their smartphone! Physicians will have the ability to use their iPhone or iPad to dictate, take a photo, or type in the adverse event in real-time. RL is extremely excited about this new product and we look forward to sharing it with our clients too!

Given the rate of emerging new apps and creative new healthcare solutions, it is an extremely exciting time to work at RL and contribute to the launch of RL6:Mobile, along with many other new modules yet to come!

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