Mobile and Medical Web Based Applications

Executive Summary

For a long period, doctors have been known to enjoy an engrained relationship with different forms of technology. The medical field contains numerous advances in technology that are dedicated to the enhancement of services. However, health care professionals continue to engage in manual practices, with the main focus being on the diagnosis being recorded on paper charts. Various reasons may be used to provide explanations on this mechanism.  The key concept revolves around adopting technological aspects that are efficient in assisting both the health care providers and the patients. History offers a case of Electronic Medical Records not being considered as part of technology, which is beneficial to health care practitioners.  The main aim of the paper is providing the key benefits of a Web-based application, M-health, towards normalizing the duties of health care practitioners. Foremost, the introduction provides a glimpse into the e-health environment by considering the benefits and challenges attributed to the Web-based application. The next section, previous approaches, provides information on the outlooks in the medical industry based on how web based applications have advanced treatment. The next section on new findings provides an insight into the benefits and challenges attributed to the incorporation of M-Health within the Health Care system. The study ends with reflecting the collective benefits to both health care professionals and patients. The main aspect of the paper revolves around the evolution of medical web-based applications that may result in a surge in health care practitioners adopting the concept. In addition, it seeks to find ways in which the mobile applications may be incorporated with additional applications that are viewed to benefit health care providers.

 

 

Mobile and Medical Web Based Applications

Introduction

Mob web-based applications are believed to alter how individuals relate as well as transforming the health care system. By incorporating other forms of technology, transformation in service delivery is guaranteed, and therefore, it helps in making patients more responsible for their health. From patient experience to health care establishments, various impacts can be attributed to the web-based application. Moreover, it is considered a feature that views patients as a fundamental aspect in the health care system as they will be provided with the necessary tools to assist in the management and assessment of their health. By incorporating the system of data analytics, various forms of mobile technology are, to a greater extent, deemed to be dedicated to delivering the best health care services. This is attributed to the changing demographics of patients consulting their doctors.

Delivering high-quality services requires the incorporation of various types of technology. They include cloud-based technologies as well as health care vaults and portals. According to West (2013), there is a growing demand and use for smartphones, as approximately 80% of the global population makes use of smartphones, therefore proving to be a success. According to Boudreaux et al. (2014), approximately more than two hundred million M-health applications have been embraced by smartphone users.  The number is believed to increase on an annual basis, thrice the current rate. This is considered a beneficial factor in assisting the health care industry in attaining more than 500million users by 2030.

Previous Approaches

The adoption of mobile web-based technology by health care practitioners is attributed to certain factors. They include ease in using the application and speed. According to Spyglass (2010), about 40% of grownups possess a smartphone. Similarly, the rate in which mobile devices are adopted amongst doctors is considered to be double that of the clients. Research findings conducted by the Spyglass Consulting group states that the web application uptake is 72% and is expected to rise to 82% in subsequent years (Spyglass, 2010). The results represent a continuously rising trend in the coming years. Smartphones play a significant role in the integration of technology as medical applications are easily adopted in diverse health care settings.

The existing applications in the health industry are inclined towards aiding the well-being of patients as compared to focusing on the doctors’ needs. Moreover, many applications are focused on fitness management and health wellness. According to Qualcomm (2010), reserves accountable for effectively electronic medical records data are limited as hospitals have made little advancements in integrating devices such as tablets within a health facility. Future aspects indicate that mobile devices will necessitate the direct inclusion of patient care. Therefore, various hospitals have adopted various approaches. For instance, providing access to electronic medical records through the incorporation of mobile handsets. A report by the College of Health care Information management states that out of 52 health facilities, 18 of them authorize the integration of smartphones with Electronic Medical Records with other systems within the facility. It is, however, clear that the development of medical web-based applications is a challenging task and necessitates the use of numerous resources. In order to overcome the challenge, the emphasis has shifted towards utilizing software as a way of providing access to smartphones.

However, this type of approach fails to satisfy the physicians’ demands as it simply offers a spotty performance that may not be supported by mobile gadgets but only functions on desktop machines. Shortcomings experienced on the versions of a desktop may only be magnified during the scaling of a mobile device interface. It is deemed to be worse during the remote access on mobile handsets as compared to computer machines. A thoughtful approach during the design of the web-based applications ought to be adopted as applications ought to be specifically designed to enhance integration in mobile handsets.

Figure 1: Hype Cycle of Web-Based Medical Applications. It illustrates the market approach of medical applications.

 

New Findings

An ideal approach for the management of this matter is advancing towards the development of pin-point applications. The applications will be geared towards satisfying particular aspects of clinical workflow. The applications are complete with form factors and operating systems that are precisely developed for mobile handsets. Moreover, doctors may still require diverse applications to handle the various responsibilities within a health facility. The main challenge attributed to this approach is the need for doctors to log in to various systems to locate a patient in each system. This is considered more or less as a manual outlook as opposed to being a web-based application. The main approach that needs to be adopted is the integration amongst the applications with the Electronic Medical Records. This may be considered as the best resolution in overcoming the shortcomings related to the system’s portal. Devices such as tablets are a good solution for health practitioners that may facilitate the overall workflow in a health facility (Topol, 2012). The approach taken to fill the gaps in the creation of an efficient system may either be native or a web-based application.

The table below represents the benefit of the native and web-based approaches.

  Native App Web App
Code Format Objective C- iOS and Java (Android) HTML5, JavaScript, CSS
Openness Closed on Apple, Open on Android Open
Distribution model App Stores: iTunes and Android marketplace Via app stores and over the internet
Support capability Installation and app update on the user device Access of latest version on their device
Interface usage Control of user interface is greater and open to customization Limited to the capability of the browser
Performance Application performance is better Application performance is good
Security Data encryption is undertaken in motion and at device rest Encryption

 

Table 2: Comparison between the Native and the web-based application

Table 2 above explains the healthcare settings’ options for doctors to use various devices that integrate with various operating systems that support native applications or web-based applications. In both cases, there are merits and demerits associated with either the native and the web-based application. Advancements in HTML 5, along with other forms of technology, present a better position and experience for the native applications. In medical applications, the key point of consideration is performance and release management. Native applications are therefore considered the ideal approach for health care facilities as a result of the performance and easy response.

Release management, upgrades, and installations are normally implemented in one time scenarios in numerous health facilities. As compared to native applications, web-based applications are easily available. However, health care personnel prefer native applications. Collectively, physicians are being dared by the requirement to decrease compensations while also increasing the patient numbers.   Mobile handsets integrated with medical applications provide a better opportunity for health practitioners to make a positive impact on the medical field.

Figure 3: Impact of M-Health

Health personnel demonstrates a positive attitude towards the support system that maintains an efficient workflow. The chart provides an analysis of health care facilities whereby many doctors had the capability of adopting the system at a 30% threshold basis. This was attributed to the constant use of medical applications in emergency departments. The existence of mobile applications that supports clinical workflow may be effective in undertaking various tasks done manually; for instance, hospital orders, be done electronically. This guarantees the safety of patients while also ensuring the users easily adapt to the system.

Conclusion

Mobile-based applications guarantee effectiveness and efficiency within a health care setting, as M-health offers various advantages. The application offers a great opportunity for doctors by reducing the duration of going through the medical history of every patient. Web-based applications offer a better chance to assess the provision of health care services. In addition, the implementation of a system developed to be used as a mobile healthcare mechanism proves to be the best for future use. This may be accomplished through the integration of numerous software applications that cater to the requirements of health care personnel. The growing use of smartphone devices such as tablets means there a general shift towards improving the level of health care delivery. Web-based applications are considered as an excellent reserve for correct information, which is important for the sustained management of medical operations.

 

 

References

Boudreaux, E. D., Waring, M. E., Hayes, R. B., Sadasivam, R. S., Mullen, S., & Pagoto, S. (2014). Evaluating and selecting mobile health apps: strategies for healthcare providers and healthcare organizations. Translational behavioral medicine4(4), 363-371.

Qualcomm. (2010, November 10). 3G Wireless Technology Provides Clinical Information to Public Health Care Workers Through Mobile Health Information System Project. Retrieved from Qualcomm : http://www.qualcomm.com/media/documents/ wireless-reach-case-study-japan-wireless-health-care-english

Spyglass. (2010). Study: Physician Smartphone Adoption Experiencing Exponential Growth. New York : APS Press

Topol, J. E. (2012, March 26). Everything in Medicine is going Mobile . Retrieved from American Medical Association : www.amendnews.com

West, D. M. (2013). Improving health care through mobile medical devices and sensors. Brookings Institution Policy Report10, 1-13.

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