In the past, we had focused on mHealth in a more general sense. There were discussion of worldwide mHealth stats, how mHealth apps increases the level of patient care, the benefits of doctor-to-doctor apps, real-life success stories of mHealth apps, and more. Here we discuss how mHealth can improve healthcare for children specifically.
1. Real-time monitoring capabilities, which reduces admin costs
Tablets have the capability of monitoring many health-related things. For instance, its accelerometer can be used to track sleep patterns, and its camera can track your heartbeat. This can reduce admin costs because tracking can be done in the comfort of the child’s home. Parents will not only be able to take care of them, but they will also be able to send the doctor updates on medical data. This frees up hospital resources, such as beds and nurses.
2. Easy access to analytical data
Mobile apps can track many things (e.g. number of taps on particular elements, time of taps/recording/use, duration, variables that are monitored in real-time) and provide the data in a hassle-free manner. This allows for more accurate medical plans and adaptations to better reflect the usage stats provided by the app. For instance, if the tablet app indicates that a child’s parents are only available to track health data in the evenings, a doctor will be able to cater their medical advice to fit in with the family’s natural schedule. This will improve compliance rates. As another example, if the analytics show that parents generally do not track their child’s sleep patterns when they were recommended to, that particular module can be revised to again improve compliance rates.
3. Data visualizations, that allow for descriptive conversations with parents
Due to the screen size and speed of a tablet, data can instantly be made into graphs and other easily accessible visual materials. This allows for more effective conversations, since the data can be more easily understood at a glance, especially for those who are not familiar with the field. Furthermore, not only do images and data visualizations capture a child’s attention more successfully than numbers and stats, but similarly to parents not in the medical field, it is easier for them to understand too (think: “This is where you are, and this is where you should/will be.”).
4. Offer positive reinforcement through tablet games, activities etc.
Finally, just for the kids, tablet games can educate children through interactive and fun activities. Anatomy and surgical games will help children better understand medical procedures and help reduce stress. Light-hearted quizzes can help identify gaps in their knowledge.
Glenn, B. (2011). Mobile health apps hold big potential for diabetes management. Retrieved from http://www.modernmedicine.com/modernmedicine/article/articleDetail.jsp?id=790809
Sifferlin, A. (2012). 5 great health apps you should download now. Retrieved from http://healthland.time.com/2012/08/16/5-great-health-apps-you-should-use-now/
Push messaging is a feature that is available through a native mobile application (NATIVE = an app that is downloaded rather than viewed through a browser) that offers marketers an incredible amount of functionality. Since native apps require users to download an app, the user has invited marketers into their pocket, living room, office and basically wherever the user brings their smartphone. Therefore marketers can capitalize on contextual messaging to deliver sales promotions, product awareness messaging and other direct marketing tactics.
Geo-fencing or GPS Alerts
Due to the mass adoption of mobile and smartphone technology, users have begun to demand tailored messaging that meets their needs and objectives. GPS has become an incredible feature for marketers, because it allows them to deliver contextual messaging to their customers and prospective customers.
Interested in mobile statistics and mobile marketing? You may also like: Charts: Worldwide Smartphone Market Share and Trends, What is Push Messaging and why is it so Powerful?, 6 Things to Consider when Building a Mobile App
I am going to use a big box store as an example. A user watching television notices a big box store, they frequently shop at, has a mobile application. They download the application because they were made aware that the app offers deals, sales and other benefits such as a store locator and hours of operation.
Upon download the user is asked a brief set of questions to determine their preferences.
- What are the departments you shop in most (secondary and tertiary as well)
- What are your favorite brands?
- What type of products would you like to receive alerts about
- Where are your favorite stores (GPS based through a store locator)
Upon completion of an initial customer assessment, the user is telling the mobile application their preferences. Therefore since they have set their favorite departments, brands, products and stores, marketers are able to deliver relevant messages.
Let’s go through the purchase decisions, involvement steps and channel relationships
1. The user/customer wakes ups in the morning and decides they would like to go to a big box store
2. They get in their car and drive to the store, not expecting to buy more than one new product
3. Since they have preset their preferences (favorite stores, products, brands, departments) and they have downloaded the app, as soon as they walk into the store push messaging, is sent to their smartphone with contextual content
4. The user opens and views the contextual content and puts their phone back in their pocket
5. Since preferences have been set, geo-fencing can provide messaging when a customer walks by one of their favorite brands, departments, products etc.
6. The user puts items in their cart that they may not have noticed and checks out
7. The application stimulates buying and improves sales and ultimately channel relationships because the big box store is making more purchase orders through their suppliers
8. Not only, does the app provide increased sales and channel relationships, but it also provides data about consumers who own smartphones and what they are looking for while at the point of purchase. Therefore retailers are able to improve their supply chain through demand metrics.Read More
Side Panel Menu
Source: Android//UI Patterns
This approach to navigation is a new trend originating from the Facebook app. Upon clicking on an icon, the current page automatically slides to the right, revealing a menu located vertically on the left side. Other apps that now use this approach is Spotify, Evernote, and Google Plus.
Expanding Circular Menu
Currently only in the Path mobile app, this menu has an elegant design. It is located where thumbs can easily access it, and upon tap, the animation of menu items expanding outward is not only pleasing to look at, but the red plus sign also rotates to be come a red ‘X’ – immediately informing the user that tapping it again would close the menu.
Scroll Bar Information
Source: The Next Web
Just a neat little feature from Path – while you are scrolling, a small tool-tip hovers beside the scroll bar so that users will know at a glance, where in the timeline they are currently viewing.
Lehtimäki, J. (2012, June 10). Emerging UI pattern – Side navigation. Retrieved from http://www.androiduipatterns.com/2012/06/emerging-ui-pattern-side-navigation.html .
In light of the many ways Doctor-to-Patient apps improve health care, Doctor-to-Doctor mHealth apps significantly improves on current health care procedures.
- Receive Medical Opinions Faster
Using mobile doctor-to-doctor applications, doctors can get real-time advice from remote colleagues during treatment. They can send each other scans, reports, and medical images using store and forward technology. Wait times due to communication is drastically reduced.
- Reduces Time Spend on Administrative Tasks
Mobile applications can automate many repetitive tasks – freeing up time for medical professionals.
- Decreases ER Wait Time
Store and forward technology allows doctors to analyse patients remotely, assessing them even before they are transferred from the ambulance to the hospital. Long ER wait times threaten patient safety, so all efforts should be taken to reduce it.
- Murphy, S. (2012, March 12). Doctors believe using health apps will cut down on visits. Retrieved from http://mashable.com/2012/03/12/mobile-health/
- Hirsch, D. (2012, July 13). Mobile devices: A solution to ER overcrowding. Retrieved from http://www.healthtechzone.com/topics/healthcare/articles/2012/07/13/298730-mobile-devices-solution-fix-er-overcrowding.htm
The conventional way of presenting medical data is confusing, and difficult to parse. Thomas Goetz, drawing inspiration from researchers who redesigned drug facts sheets to have the same functionality and readability as nutritional information boxes, had his graphics team redesign lab reports. He introduced their user-friendly, easy to understand, visual lab reports for everyday people in his TED talk (video below).
But we at FloatPoint Media can take this idea further. Not only should the data be easy to understand, but it should also be easily accessible. Integrating Goetz’ concept of user-friendly lab reports into an interactive app can:
- Provide patients with the tools that lead to better health
- Encourage necessary lifestyle habits tailored to their medical needs
- Allow efficient access to the patient’s own health information regardless of where the patient is
mHealth is predicted to be a prominent tool in helping patients self-monitor, leading to better habits, and therefore health.
If you can’t view the video above, here’s the original link: Thomas Goetz: It’s Time to Redesign Medical Data