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M-health: A new doctor–patient relationship

Information and entertainment were the most common concepts used in the development of mobile apps. Now the progress of mobile technologies is unstoppable and their growth is unrestrained. The main explanation of this phenomenon is the great versatility and the infinite number of uses that can be given to mobile apps.

In this specific case we are going to refer to m-health (mobile health), a term used to describe the introduction of mobile technologies in the healthcare system. M-health apps consist in using smartphones or other mobile devices to collect medical information and send it to the specialists, remote monitoring and control of the patients suffering from chronic disease or receive instructions they have to follow in case of emergency. Giving a brief definition, m-health can be considered the channel that using the mobile potential (smartphones, tablets) improves the doctor-patient relationship.

The initiative to create this new tool in order to control health condition raised from two important factors: first the healthcare system difficulties in order to attend the population needs.It is a current situation both present in the developed countries as in the emerging ones since they are characterized by a high population growth rate, increase of chronic diseases, difficulties to attend people living far away from the medical centers (e.g. rural population).

The second important factor is related with the massification of the global use of mobile devices: smartphones and tablets. The resources of the healthcare system to cope with an ever-increasing population are limited. Furthermore, up to now it was impossible to imagine being able to control the health condition in another place that is not a hospital or medical center or to be able to offer an improved life quality through fast medical solutions. Now with just a mobile device able to transmit a significant data of the health condition of the patient to his personal doctor can make the difference between life and death. We can say we are facing another major change among the many that followed with the emergence of mobility technologies.

The implications of m-health for the actual healthcare system process are significant: greater patient accessibility to medical services, promptness in taking the necessary measures when needed, more efficiency of a system collapsed by the high level of demand for this type of service and cost savings in hospital visits. The growth of mobile applications that help to control and preserve the health condition is a very quick process. We are not far from introducing techniques like implanting sensors to patients with a chronic disease in order to monitor their health status and this way to remove the distance barrier.

Solutions to help people to receive fast medical guidance so they can preserve or improve their health and to generate more psychological well-being at the moment they need it are some results of the efforts to create a sustainable way of living using the potential of mobility technologies.


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