The mobile healthcare market is finally starting to show significant growth. The number of apps has increased more than 150% on Android and 140% on the Blackberry in the past year.
According to Mobile Health News, more than 4,200 healthcare apps are on the Apple platform and Android users have access to about 500.
By 2015, more than 500,000 people are expected to be using healthcare smartphone applications.
Apps that leverage a cloud infrastructure are just emerging. These services help doctors serve patients from remote locations. They can also help people manage their own health and understand the environment where they live.
AirStrip Technologies has teamed with Sprint on an app that deliver patient data from hospital monitoring systems to mobile devices. It visualizes data such as fetal heartbeat and maternal contraction patterns directly from the labor and delivery unit to a doctor's smartphone. Physicians can closely monitor patients from remote locations. They may also access patient information such as nursing notes, vital signs and order results.
My Place History
My Place History shows your location and the public health and environmental hazards of the region. The app pulls from sources such as the incidence of heart attacks, the National Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) Environmental Protection Agency and the Haz-Map of the U.S. National Library of Medicine. ESRI developed the service. The company is the world's largest maker of geographic information systems.
Sana was developed by a group of students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). It is designed to improve healthcare delivery in rural and underserved areas. Sana was developed as an open-source platform that allows mobile phones to capture and send data for electronic medical records. It links community health workers with physicians for real-time decision support.
Sana supports audio, images, location-based data and text. Video will be supported in the future.
These apps give a glimpse of what we can expect to see as more people use smartphones to access health information.
Doctors can't be everywhere. But their knowledge can travel. Mobile technologies provide a bridge for that information to flow.