• Prasanthi Naidoo

The impact smartphones are having on healthcare delivery (and careers)


Are you ready for the impact of smartphones and mobile apps on healthcare delivery? Because the effects are already being felt, and it's growing exponentially. While front line healthcare workers aren't in danger of being replaced by apps any time soon, patients are increasingly turning to technology for personal healthcare solutions.

The team at Y Media Labs predicts that by next year more than half of all smartphone users will have a health-related app on their device.

Here are the most popular medical apps that users are currently downloading:

  • Weight loss (50 million downloads)

  • Exercise (26.5 million)

  • Women’s health (10.5 million)

  • Sleep and meditation (8 million)

  • Pregnancy (7.5 million)

  • Tools and instruments (6 million)

  • Other (18 million)

It seems like more and more doctors coming to grips with the fact that medical apps are going to play an important role in the future, and they want to be part of the technological revolution.

According to the Research Now Group, nearly 50 per cent of doctors surveyed say that they plan to introduce medical apps to their practice in the next five years. This comes as positive news for most patients, as it seems that the last thing people want is for doctors to resist embracing the latest technologies.

Aside from the people with medical expertise required for the creation of medical apps, this new technology is creating a demand for many other skilled workers as well. This includes mobile developers and designers, user-interface experts, and teams of quality assurance professionals.

Medical apps also raise concerns about user privacy and whether hackers could be able to get access to sensitive medical information. This also creates the demand for cyber security professionals to ensure the integrity of the system and keep patients' information and identities secure.

Despite some concerns about the quality of information available and security concerns, people are increasingly embracing the smartphone model of care. Whether it’s for the faster care and answers, or the potential time and cost savings for the patients, medical apps are going to play a substantial impact on the future of healthcare delivery. This is creating new opportunities for healthcare professionals and technology workers alike.

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