The future of mobile health and ubiquitous computing

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Spells of modern technology have been converging from desktop era to hand-held paradigm. Provision of health services by using mobile devices is referred to as mobile health (mHealth) and making these facilities accessible everywhere, is a concept of ubiquitous computing. These days social media has become fast paced and an impeccable source of information. Application of information technology in healthcare systems can contribute in diagnoses, prescription, treatment, and monitoring methodologies with remarkable outcomes at affordable cost.

Underdeveloped countries face severe ailments and outbreaks each year. If neglected, most of the diseases prevail and cause huge disasters and death tolls. More than 200 million children under age of 5 do not get basic health facilities that lead to 10 million deaths from treatable ailments. Every day, approximately 800 women die from preventable causes during child birth and pregnancy. There are several other anomalies which can be cured by providing instant and timely information using mobile devices.

Mobile health (mHealth), telemedicine, and ubiquitous health (uHealth) systems are serving to bend the iron triangle in healthcare industry. Today, hand-held devices are conveniently accessible to all socio-economic groups. Essential medical information, relevant consultancies, and preliminary disease knowledge can be made available to everyone at a much affordable cost as compared to expensive healthcare plans and insurance options. For a better diagnoses and treatment, practitioners must have clear understanding of biological structures, physiological processes, health behaviors and geographical parameters that influence health. Comprehension of all these will become more explicit by applying data visualization techniques in software operated medical devices. As a result, healthcare delivery will tend to be more authentic, less expensive and more accessible even to the people of under developed countries.

For ubiquitous access, distributed software systems can be developed to exchange personal health records, medicine logs, and disease history electronically among physicians and patients. By using this statistical data, users will be able to take better decisions about their medical conditions and treatment options to regain health. Patient data security and privacy can also be ensured by controlled information sharing according to health privacy laws. In this way, software applications will also improve health standards on ethical grounds as well.


Published in: Volume 06 Issue 20

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