The world’s population is aging. Domestically, the first of the baby boomers (born in 1946) began turning 65 in 2011, and that population will continue to do so over the next two decades. In developing countries worldwide, there are only 11 million hospital beds, but more than 2 billion mobile phones. That means for about every one hospital bed, 200 mobile phones exist.
It should be no surprise, then, that Float senior analyst Dr. Gary Woodill, Ed.D., and Float managing director Chad Udell show evidence of a trend developing via medical and healthcare apps: “do-it-yourself” (DIY) mobile health. Float Mobile Learning’s experts have broken down these apps into four categories.
For one, wellness apps support prevention of medical problems and diseases. Next, self-diagnosis and care apps allow people to identify, treat or manage their own medical issues. This is done sometimes in conjunction with hardware monitoring. And finally, home care apps support health workers or non-medical caregivers in taking care of a person at home. Examples include patient education and support apps that teach people more about their medical conditions, reminders to take prescribed medicine, and support apps for advice and counseling.
The digital tracking firm comScore reported that 234 million Americans ages 13 and older used mobile devices in November 2011. In the same period, 91.4 million Americans owned smartphones, up 8 percent from the preceding three-month period. With smartphones and tablets being rapidly adopted, medical and healthcare professionals have projected several uses for mobile devices: QR codes, text messaging, podcasts, social media, video capabilities, apps, and gamification. In addition to features on smartphones and tablets, additional devices have been developed, including personal emergency devices, peripheral devices for smartphones such as bracelets and smart clothing, as well as sensors and body area networks (BANs).
Float has picked out more than two dozen apps in the wellness, self-care, and home care subdivisions of medicine and healthcare that are described in this scan. Toward the end of the research document, Float makes sense of all this information and provides information on how to begin developing mHealth solutions.
To download the research in full, visit our Float’s mHealth page. The full bundle of all six documents is available at a discount.