Mobile health & wellness apps

Mobile health & wellness apps

In the past few years, mobile health & wellness app has become one of the hottest topics regarding new ways of using mobile technology. The recent pandemic and the global shift to online mode accelerated its development, making it a norm rather than just a commodity.

According to Statista, in 2020 the global health market was valued at over $200 billion. By 2024 it is expected to reach $500 billion.  

In Europe, the digital health market size is predicted to expand at over 17.1% CAGR between 2021 and 2027. All those numbers are enormous and clearly indicate the direction mobile health and wellness apps will take in the nearest future. 

Types of mobile health and wellness apps

Before we dive into the world of mobile health and wellness apps, let’s look at mhealth’s definition. 

mhealth is understood as the use of mobile devices (such as smartphones, tablets, and wearables) in medical care. Healthcare professionals started using mhealth a few years ago (and with some reluctance) but the recent COVID-19 pandemic showed the necessity for such an innovation and proved it’s the way forward for patients and users all over the world. With the ever-increasing number of smartphone users, less available practitioners, and traditional healthcare getting more expensive than ever, mobile health and wellness apps are a great solution, allowing the healthcare system to develop and serve always more people.

In the vast world of mobile health and wellness apps, we distinguish three different types:

  1. General health & wellness apps are not necessarily related to any particular illness or treatment we often use daily. Examples are:
    1. health apps showing the number of kilometers or steps we climb every day,
    2. nutrition tracking apps that count the calories of our meals,
    3. stress management apps that help us calm down and manage stresses related to everyday life.
  2. Telemedicine apps, which WHO refers to as “healing from a distance”. They permit patients to get professional virtual healthcare, including evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment, all done online and usually from a distance. 
  3. Health management apps are divided into:
    1. those allowing patients to monitor their health-related conditions, such as diabetes, pregnancy, heart disease,
    2. those allowing healthcare providers to share patients’ records,
    3. those that help keep track of prescribed medications.

Some of the most interesting examples of health and wellness apps

  • Headspace – a meditation and mindfulness app used by celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Emma Watson. It provides tools needed to exercise the brain in order to clear our minds.
  • Clue – a period-tracking app that allows us to better understand the monthly cycle and how it is affected by what we do.
  • Teladoc – a telemedicine platform that connects patients to healthcare providers.
  • BetterHelp – the world’s largest online mental health app, providing licensed counseling for individuals and couples.
  • MyFitnessPal – a calorie-counting app allowing also to understand macronutrient intake.
  • Fitness Coach – an app that facilitates at-home workouts, providing videos and instructions for exercises you can do anyplace.
  • Pregnancy+ – a great pregnancy racking app allowing mums-to-be to see their fetus’s development, remember their scans and get ready for a hospital trip.
  • Apple Health – an app integrated with iPhone, counting steps, the number of calories you burned, and the distance you covered.

Benefits of health & wellness apps

Since their beginning, health & wellness apps are extremely beneficial to patients, regular mobile device users, and healthcare providers. Here are some of their most important advantages:

  • Greater control over health

Wellness apps that help manage stress and give users instructions on how to exercise at home allow for better control of their own health. Some apps allow even early detect health-related problems, which significantly increases the chances of recovery.

  • Improved availability and accessibility

Thanks to medical apps healthcare became more available and accessible: patients don’t need to go to the surgery to book their appointments or to get a prescription for medicines they take. It can all be done online within a few seconds.

  • Improved efficiency of healthcare professionals

Thanks to automated solutions when it comes to recording data, analyzing them, and using them in diagnosis, healthcare providers note increased efficiency, which translates into better service they provide their patients with.

  • Reduction in healthcare costs

By providing instant online medical care and by keeping patients’ records, health and wellness apps decrease costs for healthcare providers, allowing them to better use their resources.

  • Improved communication between healthcare providers and patients

Health and wellness apps are a great way to improve communication between patients and their healthcare providers: they make it quick and always available. 

  • Better informed medication and therapy decisions, personalized treatment

More information on research and drugs, as well as more data on patients’ history, allow doctors to take better decisions when it comes to treatments, which results in increased efficiency of the therapies they prescribe.

  • Reduced time spent on admin issues

Some time ago admin was one of the most tedious tasks of nurses and doctors. Today those repetitive tasks related to data entry are getting increasingly automated, allowing healthcare professionals to spend more time actually helping their patients.

  • Improved speed of healthcare delivery

In healthcare it all comes down to the speediness of response: the greater it is, the better chances the patient will recover. With mobile apps that help monitor health, it is much easier to recognize certain conditions and contact healthcare providers quickly and hassle-free. 

Development of mobile health & wellness data

In the last few years, mobile health and wellness data revolutionized healthcare. It looks that new technologies are changing the way hospitals, surgeries, drug developers, and patients operate, making healthcare more accessible, cheaper, and easier to get. 

Within the next few years, mobile health & wellness apps will be widely used by practitioners all over the world, allowing for quicker, more personalized, and better-informed medical care for millions of patients. Mobile healthcare systems will facilitate access to patients’ data, allowing for more advanced analytics, diagnosis, and treatment.

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