The healthcare industry usually is recognized as having lagged behind other industries in embracing new information technology
systems. Several lives could be saved if vital information can be transmitted to the hospital in real-time while being rushed to the hospital in an ambulance. Doctors now can help diagnose illnesses using cell phones and iPads
Mobile technology in health care industry is emerging as a life saver. For example, a variety of mobile computing technologies, global positioning systems have been applied to ambulance care in Sweden and emergency trauma care in the Netherlands to transmit real time information about a patient’s health.
According to MplusHealth: -
- 94% of physicians are using mobile health consulting apps while on the job.
- 63% of physicians are using personal devices for mobile health solutions that aren’t connected to their practice.
- 10% of all smartphone users have a health app on their device – By 2015 33% of all smartphone users will be running a mHealth app.
United States is upbeat about the potential of mHealth. According to Economist, “Since “Obamacare” became law, at least four incubators have been founded to nurture health-care start-ups”.
While the e-Commerce sector is catching up in the Middle East region the mobile health sector is yet to emerge. However mobile health has a huge potential given that mobile penetration is very high in some countries in the region. Below is a list of few startups that have been initiated in the region addressing the Mobile Health needs: -
Es3efny (which means in English aid me) provides an effective way of communication between the ambulance and the hospital. The doctors will have an efficient real-time access to the patient’s vital data (ECG -Pulse Oximeter – Body Temperature – Blood Pressure) which will be measured via “es3efny”. In addition, the doctors will be able to guide the medics on how to deal with the incoming patient in his/her golden hour.
, a Blood Donation Mobile App. based on location & blood types. It aims to make it easy to connect blood donors with people in need. Faselty team informed Tfour.me that the app is expected to release next month.
In Jan 2012 Qtel release a mobile health service enabling users to receive personalized health tips on their mobile. Du the UAE based telco also provides similar service to its users.
Unlike the developing nations many people in the Middle East do have access to a decent health care plan and many do have mobile phones. This makes mHealth a likely trend in the coming few years.
Just in case you are wondering if mHealth is limited only to apps, check out the below photograph about a simple device attached to a mobile phone that may change the way cataracts are diagnosed. The device is being developed by the MIT Media Lab to accurately diagnose cataracts.