mHealth is an emerging trend in technology. It stands for ‘mobile healthcare’ and means utilizing smartphones and medical mobile devices to help diagnose and monitor health conditions.
According to a new research paper from the Economist Intelligence Unit (commissioned by PwC), the adoption of mHealth will be slow in the healthcare industry. That’s due to complexities and technology incompatibilities. However, there is more immediate hope with the thousands of consumer mHealth apps available on smartphones.
Healthcare is “moving towards a precision-based model — or ‘personalised medicine’.” The report cites a greater understanding of the human genome, together with other personalised technologies. mHealth apps are uniquely positioned to take advantage of this transition in healthcare, thanks to their mobility and ability to use smartphone sensors.
According to Michael Esquivel writing on the blog Mobile Health Market News, there are two main types of mHealth products. He describes them as “mobile health apps as medical devices and mobile health apps as consumer devices.” The latter are mainly diet and exercise apps, which don’t need to be regulated. The former are medical devices that will require regulation by the FDA, as they will be deployed by hospitals, doctors and ACOs (accountable care organizations).
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