Phone and Droid have kept app developers on their toe and people are innovating apps day in and day out. Health apps are catching up fast and developers are providing options to consumers to track their health through their smart phone. At the same time, many apps are geared towards health professionals, keeping track of their patients and helping to diagnose some basic health issues.
PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Health Research Institute conducted a survey and brings positive news for health app developers. The survey revealed that many Americans are willing to use their smart phone to monitor their personal health.
What was survey comprised of?
PricewaterhouseCoopers’ research conducted survey on 2,000 consumers and in addition on 1,000 physicians. The participants were asked about the usage and preferences for mobile health services and devices.
- Thirty percent of consumers would like to have an application to track their personal health in their phone.
- Forty percent of consumers were willing to take a further step and pay for a device including a subscription fee for a mobile phone application that would send text and e-mail reminders to take medications, get prescription refills or access medical records.
- Another forty percent of consumers were interested in sending data to their physicians ,automatically, such as heart rate, blood pressure, blood sugar and weight. They were fine with paying for such a service.
Daniel Garrett, leader of PricewaterhouseCoopers said that “Remote and mobile technology is making it possible to move healthcare delivery outside the traditional settings of physician offices and hospitals to wherever patients are. It’s bringing back the concept of doctors making house calls.”
What are the drawbacks of the health...
Like everything else, smart phone technology to track personal health comes with some limitations:
- The information available to physicians through mobile apps may be limited. In fact, a survey revealed that about one-third of physicians said they made decisions on incomplete information for about 70 percent of the patients they see.
- Preference of some physicians for direct interaction with their patients is compromised by health apps.
- Healthcare reimbursement may limit use of health apps as in most cases, it requires in-person consultation. Though, some health plans are beginning to pay for remote monitoring devices to help reduce readmission costs. Some physicians are getting limited reimbursement for phone consultations, email consults, tele-health and texting.
What is the anticipated market for mobile health apps?
The survey revealed that mobile monitoring devices can be a business opportunity of $7 billion to about $43 billion based on how much people are willing to pay on annual basis.
Mobile health apps are catching up among consumers and health care professionals. But, health regulating agencies like FDA and reimbursement policies can be limiting its development. Hopefully, we move more into the smart phone health era and people are able to prevent diseases by monitoring their health on regular basis.