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Benefits of m-health in healthcare

M- Health (m-health or mobile health) is a term used for the practice of medical and public health, using communication technology (ICT) supported by mobile devices. The term is most commonly used in reference to using mobile communication devices, such as mobile phones and PDAs, for health services and information.

Mobile health Can help solving many problems and challenges that are always facing the medical field and health care organizations such as; offering the emergency service at the proper time without delay, difficult patient drug compliance monitoring, and direct access to EHR at anytime and anywhere, all these problems and more can be managed by the use of continuous communication through wireless networks which show great advances in the mean time.

Mobile-Health represents the revolutionary adoption of new communication patterns in health care through the use of wireless computing devices (m-Devices); mobile phones, PDAs and smart phones, patient monitoring devices and sensors, microcomputers, laptop and mobile tele-medicine. It will help transferring medical information from physician-and hospital-centered system to one that seeks to connect, coordinate and deal with this information including physicians, health care providers, payers, pharmacies and patients themselves.

M-Health field is so huge and its applications are so many and gathered in 12 m-Health application Clusters by m-Health Initiative (mHI): Patient communication, access to resources, Point of care documentation, Disease management, education programs, professional communication, administrative applications, financial applications, ambulance/EMS, public health, pharmaceutical /clinical Trials, Body Area Network , these clusters reflects the different fields m-Health can work in to gain better health care process.

Mobile health can help health care field in many ways: It will provide continuous communication between all health participants for creating more effective and efficient health care system through: - Enabling the access to HER through m-Devices at any time from anywhere which will lead to reduction of medical errors and immediate dealing with emergency situation. - It allow better access to resources such as guidelines, polices at the point of care. -Implementing communication based disease management for chronic patients such as asthmatics and diabetics to reduce emergency visits and monitor drug compliance. - Using an online appointment system to enable the clinicians and patients to make appointments at the proper time. - Enabling m-Health use in the emergency ambulance units to allow medical or the paramedical team to gain the needed information from the EHRs. - Enabling the use of tele-medicine to allow contacting qualified physicians for remote diagnosis and advice.

References - Towards an application framework for context-aware m-Health applications, Tom Broens, Aart van Halteren, Martin van Sinderen, Katarzyna Wac. - -

Submitted by (Tamer Abd El Wahab Etman)