Mobile health, or mHealth, is a rapidly growing domain in India and globally. The practice and delivery of healthcare services and information through a mobile device, mHealth is a popular trend today among health professionals and people at large.
A recent worldwide study conducted for PwC Global Healthcare by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) found that more than half of doctors and consumers around the world, including 60% in India, see the widespread adoption of mobile technology in health care as inevitable.
“The adoption of mobile health in emerging markets like India versus developed markets is a paradox. In developed markets, mHealth is perceived as disrupting the status quo, whereas, in emerging countries, it is seen as creating a new market, full of opportunities and growth potential,” says Dr. Rana Mehta, Healthcare leader, PwC India.
The study report also includes findings of two surveys conducted by the EIU, one for consumers and one for doctors:
- In 59 percent of all emerging markets, patients use at least one mHealth application or service
- Nearly half of the consumers expect that mHealth will change the way they manage chronic conditions, their medication, and their overall health
- Six in 10 consumers expect mHealth to change the way they seek information on health issues
- Nearly two-thirds of doctors said that mHealth offers exciting possibilities
The mHealth services market in India is expected to be worth USD435 million by 2019. With mHealth steadily growing as a technology-oriented, consumer-focused dimension in healthcare, it is a profitable avenue for doctors, hospitals and medical professionals to invest in. A good financing option to tap into in this booming market could be a business loan for doctors.
Mobile medical care applications in India
- Call Ambulance is a one-stop mobile app for medical emergencies. When a person seeks an ambulance using the app, their location is shared with the nearest hospital via GPS technology. Ambulance drivers can navigate to the location easily. The app will also notify the nearest first responder, who will come for first aid before the ambulance arrives. It notifies the patient’s family and alerts the ambulance manager, driver and the doctor on duty at the destination hospital. The doctor can see the saved medical history and treat the incoming patient. The app is a life-saving one-tap-away solution for all emergencies.
- Wockhardt Foundation’s Mobile1000 initiative hopes to provide 1,000 mobile health vans for free primary healthcare to 25 million people in rural India. Eighty-four Mobile1000 vans are operating across the country, with each van helping 25,000 patients a year. Mobile1000 has helped more than 23 million patients with treatment and medication.
- HelpAge India aims to make basic healthcare available to 1 million under-served rural and urban people, particularly the elderly. Currently, they are servicing 1,920 community locations in 22 states. The Mobi-Health Unit involves a four-wheeler with customised fabrication to carry medicines, consumables and equipment.
Mobile Medical Care and the Physician
Doctors are also using mobile health apps in their daily practice. Mobile care offerings help doctors diagnose, monitor, consult, and treat common diseases. As mHealth enables doctors to look up information from the patient’s bedside, it saves time and helps them provide optimum treatment. Also, with apps readily available on smartphones and tablets, doctors can avail the advantage of flexible access to medical information. They can easily access quality resources and make important decisions on the clinical care.
UpToDate is an app that lists the common questions that physicians ask when they see a patient. It also provides recommendations regarding the course of treatment.
Doctors, healthcare professionals, hospitals and diagnostic centers can exploit the growing prevalence of mobile medical care and enhance their reach and reputation with business loans for doctors. These custom-made loans for doctors help you expand your scale of operations and reach untapped markets by providing mobile medical care facilities. You can use this loan to fund your investment in mHealth technology to aid patients with real-time communication and speedy treatment.
Mobile medical care and the consumer
A study suggests that 70 per cent of the people worldwide are interested in at least one mHealth application, and they are willing to pay for it.
Mobile health gives patients direct control of their diagnosis and treatment. They provide early warnings and key information about an illness, empowering patients to choose between quick visits or waiting for appointments.
Consumer electronics companies are already cashing in on the growing demand for devices and services that help people remain fit and mentally alert. Cardiac monitoring and fitness tracking are also the most prominent applications of mobile-enabled connected devices.
The popularity of mHealth is rapidly expanding among consumers. Common aspects of mHealth from a consumer’s perspective include:
- Locating healthcare service providers
- Comparing prescription fees and treatment costs
- Enhancing health and wellness efforts
- Seeking information on medical conditions or terms
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