The mobile health wave is still advancing in the healthcare industry. From mobile healthcare applications for patients to telehealth services to help patients reach their physicians easier, it’s a wave of new technology all focusing on patients and their needs!
However, with this new wave of technology being used, it’s critical for patients to understand the differences between the technology that is being used and how each one can benefit them in different ways.
So, what exactly is mHealth? mHealth is a mobile health market that has successfully integrated with smartphones and healthcare to bring better connection for patients and healthcare professionals. Essentially, mHealth is an app that patients can download in the Play Store or iTunes! These apps range from mental health services to fitbit applications. There are over 2.2 million Android apps and 2 million iOS apps in the app store and these numbers continue to grow.
A new study released states that these mobile health applications can help detect serious conditions better than standard tests used in a healthcare setting! This is because the devices use a system similar to the traditional ECG technology that tracks and records the patient’s heartbeat. In return, this can help detect palpitations and other common heart disease concerns.
When someone downloads an app for mental health services, this provides them with a range of services that are specific to these patients. It can range from live chats on the app to daily reminders. It all depends on the company and app.
The most common apps range from chronic care management to personal health record apps. At FlowCARE, we frequently discuss telehealth practices. So, what are the differences between telehealth and mHealth?
What is telehealth? Telehealth provides patients with the ability to communicate with their physicians or other healthcare professionals over the internet with video chatting services. This provides a patient with the ability to login to their computer, video chat with a healthcare professional and stay at home.
The main difference between these two mobile health technologies is that mHealth provides patients with helping capture data about themselves while telehealth focuses on clinical care and clinical models. Telehealth focuses on patient engagement, letting patients have more access to healthcare professionals and improving patient quality. On the other hand, mHealth provides patients with the ability to improve their own health without a healthcare professional. One is allowing patients to be consumers of their health while the other is providing patient engagement and patient care models to advance.
So, the next time you use your FitBit watch on a run that’s mobile health! The next time you download an application that helps track and monitor blood sugar levels or glucose for your diabetes, that’s mobile health.
When you’re video chatting with your child’s pediatrician, that’s telehealth. When you’re live chatting with a nurse about questions regarding your new medication, that’s telehealth. Overall, these two different technologies often intertwine at some point, but are two very different technologies with two different end goals.
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