mHealth App Selection - Technology Overview

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, mHealth is "the use of mobile and wireless devices to improve health outcomes, healthcare services, and health research." mHealth includes text messaging, telemedicine/telehealth (remote patient monitoring), electronic health records, gamification, and health apps, to name a few.

Mobile technology has been expanding over the past decade to encompass a wide range of devices and software products. At one point, "mobile" referred specifically to mobile phones. Now, as phones become smarter and process data as a computer would, and computers become lighter, smaller, and more portable, morphing into notebooks, tablets, and pads, the line is increasingly blurred. The focus of this toolkit is on health-related mobile applications, or “apps”, used with mobile devices.

For mobile and wireless devices to be capable of improving health outcomes, they need the software to accept, store, and/or deliver patient data or pertinent educational information.  mHealth apps can help patients learn about, track or even manage their medical and health needs, providing an easy avenue to communicate with providers and to increase patient compliance.