Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Float Mobile Learning Research Report Suggests mHealth is Poised to Explode in Next Decade



Float Mobile Learning Research Report Suggests mHealth is Poised to Explode in Next Decade

Quarterly report on mobile applications for wellness, home care, emergencies and hospital management reveals trend toward “do-it-yourself” medicine.

Morton, Ill. – March 13, 2012 – Float Mobile Learning, a consulting firm that develops mobile strategies and apps for major healthcare organizations and Fortune 500 companies, released the final three research reports from its comprehensive study of mobile usage in the healthcare industry.

Focus areas for the last three scans include wellness and home care, emergencies and training for emergencies, as well as medical practice and hospital management.

Key findings in the report show a movement toward patient-centered healthcare, with mobile devices placing medical knowledge in the hands of patients to enable self-care or home care of others.

The State of mHealth:

· There are only 11 million hospital beds in the developing world, but in contrast, there are more than 5 billion mobile phones in existence worldwide.
· 80 percent of doctors in the U.S. use smartphones and medical apps.
· 78 percent of consumers in the U.S. are interested in mobile health solutions.
· As of late 2011, there were more than 10,000 medical and healthcare apps available in Apple’s iTunes App Store.
· Medical and healthcare apps are the third fastest growing category for iPhones and Android phones.
· 88 percent of physicians would like their patients to track and/or monitor their health at home, particularly their weight, blood sugar levels and vital signs.
· 56 percent of physicians using mobile devices said they expedite decision-making.
· Two-thirds of physicians say they are using personal mobile devices for health solutions that aren't connected to their practice or hospital IT systems.

“The looming demographic bulge of aging baby boomers and the rising costs of hospital care are driving a movement to providing medical care in a person’s own home, whenever possible,” said Float senior analyst Gary Woodill. “This is a much less expensive option than hospital care, and it will be one of the major initiatives to keep rising healthcare costs under control. Mobile health and wellness applications can help relieve the burden of accelerating healthcare costs due to this demographic shift.”

Main categories of “do-it-yourself” medicine included in Float’s report are wellness apps that support prevention of medical problems and diseases, self-diagnosis and care apps that allow people to identify, treat or manage their own medical issues, and home care apps that support health workers or non-medical caregivers in taking care of a person at home.

Examples of “Do-It-Yourself” Medicine:

· The Instant Response iPhone app monitors a person’s health and automatically sends signals to first responders in the event of a medical emergency.
· The Macaw app for iPhone and Android serves as an individual health hub, collecting information related to weight tracking, sleep management, glucose monitoring and more.
· The Calorie Counter app is synced to a database of nearly 1 million food products, and in addition to calculating the nutritional value of food choices, it remembers frequently purchased items.

“There has been a shift to an emphasis on wellness, prevention, self-care and home care as alternatives to hospitalization,” said Chad Udell, managing director for Float Mobile Learning. “This has been further driven by the developments of new mobile technologies. All of this new technology could mean fewer visits to the hospital or doctor’s office, which would significantly reduce the amount of money spent on healthcare.”

To learn more about Float’s environmental scans on mobile in medicine and healthcare, please visit the Float Mobile Learning blog. The full report is available for download at http://floatlearning.com/mhealth/.

About Float Mobile Learning
Float’s team of experts combines strategy, mobile app development, and eLearning to guide organizations by harnessing the unique power of mobile technology. Founded in 2010, Float works with industry leaders such as Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT), Pioneer Hi-Bred, GROWMARK, and Wiley Publishing Inc. (NYSE: JW.A) to strategize and develop mobile learning initiatives. To learn more, please visit http://floatlearning.com.

About the Float Mobile Learning Environmental Scan
Research analysts at Float Mobile Learning used objective observation and analysis of case studies, books, and published scholarly journals, along with analysis of products and services in the marketplace. A list of sources can be found at the end of each full report.

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