Access, Affordability, And Insurance Complexity Essay

Submitted By aguy87
Words: 372
Pages: 2

Mobile health, or mHealth, refers to the use of smartphones, tablets, and other mobile and wireless devices in both public health and health care. One of the most commonly understood forms of mHealth includes software applications, most commonly called "apps," which are designed to provide a health-related service for the user. The apps are sometimes called mHealth apps, medical apps, mobile medical apps, or similar permutations. Consumers may use mHealth apps to monitor their own health; doctors or other health care providers similarly can use the apps to engage patients in the tracking of their health.

For consumers, the apps may allow for a greater personal control in health management, from tracking exercise to scheduling doctor appointments. For physicians and other care providers, apps can assist in day-to-day medical care, as well as allow for health-related tasks in remote areas without access to traditional health care infrastructure.

New mHealth apps enter the marketplace daily, and they will continue to do so, particularly as mobile devices become more common and as the technology behind mobile hardware and software advances. Such technology allows for increasingly sophisticated mHealth applications and may even transform a smartphone or a tablet into a medical device. Unlike a tracking mechanism that merely captures data, medical devices are instruments that help diagnose, prevent, or treat an illness or condition.

Both the relative newness of the mHealth market and the influx of applications pose challenges to the federal agencies responsible for regulating health-related…