Mobile Technology Is Changing Healthcare
Whether we like it or not, technology is infiltrating our everyday lives more each day. Wearable tech and some mobile apps already have the ability to monitor our heart rate, activity level and sleep patterns.
The mobile health industry will skyrocket in the next few years. One report estimates the mobile health market will reach $26 billion in revenue by the year 2017. Another survey by Pew Internet estimates that within 5 years, 50% of mobile phone and tablet users will have a mobile health app downloaded on their device.
It’s not just for personal use, though. Doctors and nurses are using technology more in our healthcare system. In a survey of 1,063 physicians and mid-level practitioners, 86% said they use smartphones in their professional activities and 53% use tablets at work, with the biggest increase coming from tablet use.
Have you ever gone to the doctor and had them take notes or show you your scans on a tablet? Tablets allow for the portability of note-taking, but still maintain an electronic record system. As more software is developed that tailors to mobile, we will continue to see more tablets and mobile computing.
As healthcare evolves, it may even be possible that we don’t meet face to face with a doctor at every appointment. In some instances a video conference with a doctor, in the comfort of your own home, may become an acceptable practice. Simple Therapy is a service created by a group of doctors that provides automated, yet user-specific exercise therapy that can be done with household items.
As technology continues to infiltrate healthcare, we benefit from more accurate information, better access to resources, improved research, and hopefully better care. But, doctors save lives and emergency situations often require the physical presence of a medical professional to mitigate the situation. At what point, if any, does the technology go too far?