A Detailed Guide on mHealth: Definition and Its Pros and Cons

Given the scale and pace of technological advancement in India in the past couple of years, it is no surprise that almost 1.5 billion Indians will use a smartphone by the year 2022. In a country where modern healthcare is still beyond reach for a great number of patients in the rural and semi-urban areas, mHealth can be the smartest possible solution.

Especially in places like Haryana, Telengana, and Jharkhand where there is just 1 doctor per 10,000 people – the need for mobile medical facilities is all the more evident. 

According to the ICTHS, almost 89% of Indian household use cellphone in 2019 – compared to 63% back in 2009. It might, therefore, appear intuitive to harness this technological advancement into healthcare practice as well. This led to the introduction of mHealth in India a few years back.  

What is mobile healthcare?

It is a medical and public health service which operates via mobile phones. It includes a diverse range of operations like PDA (Personal Digital Assistants), patient monitoring, e-prescription, e-consultation, etc.

Since its inception, mobile health care has mobilised the global healthcare industry and kept the patients and health care providers connected at all times. The ubiquity of smartphones in developing nations presents a perfect opportunity to improve healthcare outcomes. This can be implemented through mHealth by introducing innovative health and medical services with communication and information technologies across the farthest points of the globe. This is how mHealth is proving to be the next technology frontier in healthcare.

Benefits of mobile healthcare

The benefits of medical healthcare are plenty. For instance –

a) Treatment compliance

Non-compliance with the medication regime has been the roadblock of the nation with poor quality of hospitalisation, disease flare-ups, relapse cases and possibly even early demise.

However, with the introduction of the mHealth applications, patients can stick to their medication regime by –

  • Tracking their medication with better and improved monitoring.
  • Medication alert prompting them to take certain medicines.
  • Consult with a medical practitioner thousands of miles away over e-consultation.

Moreover, as per the present scenario of Indian medical sector, opening a polyclinic is vital to provide the required set of healthcare services. If you are unaware what is polyclinic, it is a medical facility bigger than a private clinic but smaller than that of multispecialty hospitals.  

However, investing in such polyclinics require significant investment. To make financing affordable, you can consider opting for a Loan for Doctors from lenders like Bajaj Finserv to setup such clinics. Furthermore, if you are already an existing customer, you can benefit from their pre-approved offers as well.

These pre-approved offers are applicable on personal loans, business loans, home loans and numerous other financial products. Not only does this streamline the loan availing process, but also make availing finances quick. All you need to do is share a few necessary details and check your pre-approved offer.

b) Enhanced medical service 

A vast majority of mHealth apps are equipped with prompt consultation and advice options. Patients can chat with a doctor or call a health practitioner online and communicate their health issues.

This not only saves time and money but also proves vital in saving a patient’s life in case of medical emergencies where the patient cannot physically visit a clinic.

Also Read for The Importance Of Analytics For A Healthcare System

Now that you are aware of how mHealth is beneficial and boosts profitability for doctors, let’s take a look at a drawback associated with mobile healthcare.

Drawback of mobile healthcare

There are no such significant cons related to mobile healthcare; however, it might encounter some setbacks like lack of regulation. As per the CDSCO, misuse of technology is also on the rise. This can be particularly fatal in case of mobile healthcare, as the number of fraudulent apps has also been spotted.

Although the authorities have been notified regarding the sporadic cases of mHealth malpractice, little effort has been made to curb this menace. However, things are turning out better as CDSCO is rolling out stricter rules against violation of mobile healthcare practice. Hence, there is no reason why doctors should not consider undertaking mHealth in the future.

In many ways, the future of mobile healthcare in India is brighter than ever with new technological avenues opening up in the country. Now, with internet coverage throughout the farthest parts in India and the popularity of ‘wearable’ tech – the introduction of mHealth is all the more favourable.