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With the number of mobile users growing every year, it is more important than ever for healthcare companies to understand how they can leverage that trend to drive growth. This blog post provides 5 ways how mobile apps grow in healthcare and discusses each one in detail. Read on to find out more!
The medical industry is ripe with opportunity. The global healthcare market is worth over $6 trillion dollars, with the U.S. accounting for about a third of that figure at approximately $2 trillion.
However, in recent years growth has been stagnant due to increased costs and lack of innovation in the space. Mobile apps are changing this by bringing new efficiencies to an old system- they’re making it easier for doctors to connect with patients, improving patient adherence rates through innovative tracking tools, and providing more accurate diagnoses through data analytics reports on health trends among their users.
The mobile medical app market size is projected to reach $18 billion by 2020 according to App Annie’s report published last year which makes it one of the fastest growing sectors in digital space.
More than 90,000 mobile health apps (mHealth) hit the app store last year. 90,000. Think about that number for a second. That extraordinary number represents users across the country and world who are taking their health into their own hands. They are downloading not only fitness, wellness, and diagnostic apps, but apps geared towards managing particular chronic diseases or health conditions, others that are streamlining the ever-growing telehealth industry, and still others that directly address the COVID-19 pandemic.
Those staggering numbers only stand to increase as the funding backing mobile healthcare apps grows further into the billions –– and, despite taking a once exclusively in-person industry online, they’ll actually drive growth in healthcare at the same time.
Why is that? We explore five of the ways that healthcare mobile apps are driving growth in the health industry and making it easier for the average user to take control of their health through their mobile phones.
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1. ACCESSIBILITY: mHealth Apps Increase Patient Accessibility, Awareness
When healthcare is easier to access, the number of patients utilizing services will increase, and healthcare overall will expand. Healthcare mobile apps are allowing that to happen by breaking down the barriers to accessibility. Prospective patients may feel intimidated by making an appointment, knowing what kind of doctor to see, or knowing when and where to go. A mobile health app takes out the unknown element by allowing patients to explore options online, book appointments, and speak with providers from the comfort of their own home.
The adoption of mHealth has led many mobile application development companies to create more advanced features like real-time video calling and virtual patient monitoring, which later on eased the communication between patients and doctors. Therefore, it improves patient experience with healthcare since medical professionals can remotely monitor patients’ conditions.
Particularly when it comes to underserved patients, this allows users access to a healthcare professional who may not be present physically within their communities. It also enables those medical professionals, who may be overworked, to meet with more patients in less time virtually –– giving them breathing room and allowing them to serve more people in need of healthcare.
Suggested Read: 5 Ways to Improve Patient Experience in Digital Healthcare
2. EFFICIENCY: mHealth Apps Lead to Increased Efficiency, Decreased Costs
Telemedicine appointments are the most efficient, streamlined process to hit healthcare in generations. It’s one of the mobility solutions or trends shaping the healthcare industry. They’re more cost effective for both the provider and the patient –– they’re less expensive than in-person appointments because providers can see more people, which in turn means a patient pays a lower copay. It’s a win-win, and one that’s guaranteed to lead to more appointments booked.
Additionally, mHealth and telemedicine leads to more efficient provider-patient interactions and less waiting time (or at least less time spent in a waiting room). A user can continue going about their day at home until it’s time to log on –– time that’s far better spent than an hour in a waiting room.
Because mHealth mobile apps aid in telehealth, they could lead to overall decreased healthcare costs because it’s easier for patients to schedule a telemedicine appt than to get into an in-person office. This leads to fewer procrastinated appointments, health issues caught earlier, and less chronic illness costs.
Suggested Read: How Mobile Apps Reduce Waiting Time
3. PREVENTATIVE CARE + CONVENIENCE: mHealth Care is Much Easier to Access
mHealth appointments are a more convenient option, especially for those quick visits that are often put off. Patient health is improved with so much convenience because they don’t need to go to in-person appointments for annual refills, check-ins, and other needs that may lead to procrastination if they are required to make an in-person appointment and take off work –– all for 5 minutes or less of a doctor’s time.
These medical apps not only give patients the opportunity to move these less involved appointments online, they can remind patients when refills are needed, when to schedule check-ins, how to aid in monitoring health needs, and more.
Plus, mHealth apps create a more holistic preventative care experience where patients can track daily health habits easily within the mHealth app, allowing both themselves and their doctor access to the full picture of their current health.
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4. HEALTH RECORDS: mHealth Gives Patients More Autonomy Over Records
Patients who make the proactive move to download a digital healthcare web app and mHealth apps could be the same patients who are eager to get more involved in taking control of their own health. These apps make it easier to track and reference a patient’s own electronic health records, giving them more autonomy.
Also, for any patient who’s ever gone through the ordeal of sending medical records or health data from one doctor’s office to another, only to discover on the day of their appointment that the fax didn’t go through, mHealth apps can be a lifesaver. These apps make it easier for patients to share past healthcare data and incidents with new providers for medical references, reducing a silo that is often seen in traditional healthcare.
5. HIGHER ACCURACY: mHealth Apps Provide Increased Monitoring
When users are tracking their daily progress or numbers into a fitness or wellness app, there’s an increase in understanding and context that can be passed along to their provider. For example, if a patient goes in for their annual exam, but it’s been an incredibly stressful week at work, their blood pressure may read high. It’s helpful for the provider to have historical context over the past several months to understand if this is an outlier or a continued issue.
Also, these days, wearable devices have dramatically increased patient care and health monitoring. Wearable technologies incorporate artificial intelligence or AI that collect, track, and analyze data. Moreover, AI-enabled wearable devices provide insights on what users should eat, how much they should sleep, and also other health data that could help with clinical decision making.
If an mHealth app allows a user to read their numbers on a daily basis and track them in the app, that gives an extra layer of data for a provider to analyze for accuracy and a plan forward.
Important Factors in mHealth Apps
Mobile apps have the potential to drive healthcare growth for many reasons. Five major benefits are listed above, but there are so many more!
As mHealth apps continue to skyrocket, users continue to download, and investors continue to pour money into the industry, traditional healthcare only stands to benefit. If organizations in the healthcare sector are willing to be agile and evolve with a changing workplace, then they stand before a great opportunity in transforming the healthcare industry.
They need to understand their user, recognize why they would choose to download an app, and take a deeper look at the factors that matter to them in terms of telemedicine and mHealth apps. If they can connect themselves to a user-friendly mHealth app, both stand to grow.
If you want to discuss how you can position your software idea ahead of the 90,000 other apps that have launched this year, then contact Technology Rivers. We have experience working closely in the healthcare vertical and are ready to help you launch a competitive and successful app.
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