mHealth - Software

Software is critical to many parts of the mHealth market, as it gathering and display of important data. This section talks briefly about different categories of software, including Clinical Reference & Clinical Decision Support, Epidemiology & Public Health, Electronic Health Records, and Personal Wellness & Fitness applications.

Clinical Reference and Decision Support Software

Clinical reference applications are pieces of software that can be used by anyone, though their intended audience is medical professionals who need to perform calculations or look up important clinical information.  Examples of this software include medication dosage and contraindication references, age normals for key levels, and anatomy and physiology reference books.

Electronic Medical Records

Electronic medical records are patient records that can be viewed and edited over a computer network.  Many professionals are familiar with these as applications used on a PC or laptop workstation, yet an increasing number of systems are providing a mobile interface for access.  

Epidemiology & Public Health

Several functions of mobile devices lend themselves to epidemiology and public health applications.  Software can track a mobile phone user's movements, and then cross-reference those patterns with reports of various infectious disease outbreaks. This makes it possible for consumers to track their risk of exposure, and for epidemiologists to monitor how diseases spread and are occuring in key areas.

Personal Wellness & Fitness

A huge number of applications in the mobile app stores focus on personal health and wellness. Systems offer ways to gather, monitor, and send or store data related to blood pressure, glucose levels, caloric intake, and exercise output.  This software may either gather the data directly though a wireless-enabled device, or may require manual entry on the part of the patient.

Texting is being used for personal wellness in many regions of the world, especially those with a lack of infrastructure supporting smart phones.  These systems allow key information to be sent to patients or clinicians via basic text messages.  Examples include messages encouraging patient efforts in smoking cessation, texting expectant mothers with key appointments or behavior changes to improve prenatal care, or sending clinical lab values in places with unreliable courier networks or results delivery systems.