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Mobile Devices in Clinical Settings

Introduction

A critical factor for the delivery of services in the healthcare sector is communication, which links the doctor to the patient. In recent years, mobile devices have been a boom for coordination among healthcare professionals and patients.1

WHO’s definition of mHealth4

mHealth is defined as medicine and public health practices that are backed by mobile devices such as cell phones, personal digital assistants, wireless devices and patient monitoring devices.

Benefits of Mobile Devices in the Healthcare Sector

Evolution of Devices Using Healthcare Apps1,5

Need for Mobile Devices in Patient Care1,4

In an ideal setting, HCPs require access to mobile devices for several reasons. In this section, some of the reasons will be outlined.

mHeath Benefits in Healthcare Sector1,4

  • Utilisation of mobile technologies for compliance, data collection, disease prevention and immunisation programs
  • Mobile devices can collect information, use AI to recommend treatments and update EMR to improve care
  • Education of community workers through telemedicine
  • Disease surveillance
  • Usage of apps like the Aarogya Setu to track, trace and assess details of all the people, especially COVID-19 patients
  • Use of telemedicine to provide better healthcare in case of quick response
  • Data collection for research and real-time management of patients by governing bodies

mHealth/Mobile Medical Apps

The FDA defines mHealth/mobile medical apps as either applications used on medical devices or incorporated into medical devices that convert a mobile platform into a regulated medical device and have device software features that meet the requirements of section 201(h) of the FD&C Act.6

List of Mobile Apps in Healthcare4,7

Some of the digital health apps utilised by patients and HCPs are enlisted here.

Professional healthcare apps Provide patient demographic details. Eg: data.ai, Shaip, Teamscope, Open Data Kit, REDcap
Clinical communication apps Communication and decision making in hospitals. Eg: Message Genius, AirStrip OB (cardiology), Airstrip, Spok
Patient monitoring apps Monitoring of patients’ hypertension and diabetes using web-based applications in the clinic. Eg: Itransition, Vivadox, Medbridge, HealthArc

Medical record apps

Update patient’s data on blood pressure, prescription, medical visits and examination details. Eg: CareCloud, CapsulePHR, Medical Records, DSS Inc

Risk assessment apps

Monitor patient’s condition in real time, track heart rate and identify patients who are at risk. Eg: SmartData, HRA, HealthCalculator, MedIndia

Medication dosage apps

Used by doctors to calculate the individualised dose of medicine based on the patient’s age, body weight and risk factors. Eg: DrugDose, RxDoseCalc, Millidos (pediatric drug dose), Lexicomp, Epocrates, Micromedix

Fitness apps

Help users to track daily exercise and get data on calories burned with calorie consumption suggestions depending on the user’s age, weight and sex. Eg: FitOn , SEVEN, Fitelo, Curefit, Fittr, Apativ

Diet and nutrition apps

Assist in monitoring weight, with a comprehensive library of food and nutrients, a calorie counter diary with meals and a progress chart. Eg: Fooducate, healthifyme, My diet coach, Lifesum
FitOn, SEVEN, Fitelo, Curefit, Fittr, Apativ Meditation mobile apps Help the users to reduce stress and improve sleep patterns through guided meditation. Eg: Headspace, Moodkit, CALM, Aura, Lets Meditate

Epilepsy apps

Help epileptic patients determine potential triggers, symptoms, length and intensity of their seizures. Eg: Health unlocked, Seizure tracker, ICE medical tracker, Epilepsy journal

 

Utilisations of Mobile Apps and Devices by Healthcare Professionals1

Information Management

  • Make notes
  • Record the audio
  • Take photographs
  • Organise information and images
  • Use e-book reader
  • Access cloud service

Time Management

  • Schedule appointments
  • Schedule meetings
  • Record the call during the meeting

Health Record Maintenance and Access

  • Access EHRs and EMRs
  • Access images and scans
  • Electronic prescribing
  • Coding and billing

Communications and Consulting

  • Voice and video calling
  • Texting and multimedia
  • E-mail
  • Video conferencing
  • Social networking

Reference and Information Gathering

  • Medical literature
  • Literature search portals
  • Drug reference guides
  • Medical news

Clinical Decision Making

  • Treatment guidelines
  • Disease diagnosis aids
  • Medical calculators
  • Laboratory test interpretation
  • Medical exams

Patient Monitoring

  • Monitor patient health
  • Monitor patient location and rehabilitation
  • Collect clinical data
  • Monitor heart function

Medical Education and Training

  • Continuing medical education
  • Knowledge and skill assessment tests
  • Case studies and e-learning and teaching
  • Surgical simulation

AI: Artificial intelligence; DHIs: Digital health interventions; EHR: Electronic health record; EMR: Electronic medical record; FD&C Act: Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act; FDA: Food and Drug Administration; HCPs: Healthcare professionals; ISRO: Indian Space Research Organisation; mHealth: Mobile health; WHO: World Health Organization

References

  1. Ventola CL. Mobile devices and apps for health care professionals: Uses and benefits. P T. 2014;39(5):356–64.
  2. BankMyCell. How many smartphones are in the world? Available at: https://www.Bankmycell.Com/blog/how-many-phones-are-in-the-world. Accessed on 3 October 2022.
  3. Hitti E, Hadid D, Melki J, et al. Mobile device use among emergency department healthcare professionals: Prevalence, utilization and attitudes. Sci Rep. 2021. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-81278-5.
  4. Sharma S, kumari B, Ali A, et al. Mobile technology: A tool for healthcare and a boon in pandemic. J Family Med Prim Care. 2022;11(1):37–43.
  5. Itihaasa Research and Digital. History and future of digital health. 2021. Available at: https://itihaasa.com/public/pdf/History_and_Future_of_Digital_Health_in_the_World_and_India.pdf.  Accessed on 12 October 2022.
  6. US FDA Guidelines. Device software functions including mobile medical applications. Available at: https://www.Fda.Gov/medical-devices/digital-health-center-excellence/device-software-functionsincluding-mobile-medical-applications. Accessed on 12 October 2022.
  7. Banerjee A, Ramanujan R, Agnihothri S. Mobile health monitoring: Development and implementation of an app in a diabetes and hypertension clinic. International Conference on System Sciences; 2016; Hawaii. Mobile health monitoring: 2016. pp. 3424–36.
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