There has been an enormous increase in interest in mHealth, particularly the possibility of leveraging mobile phones and wireless devices to improve all areas of health care. As the chart below documents, the projected uptake of smart phones is rapid.
Cell phones and smart phones have already shown that they can change behavior, here are a few interesting points to ponder:
- There are now more cell phones in the United States than people.
- Mobile devices will outnumber global population by the end of 2012.
- The typical adult checks their smart phone at least 30 times per day.
- The average teen sends more than 3,000 texts per month.
- There are currently 40,000 mobile health apps available and 247 million individuals have downloaded at least one to their mobile device.
- By 2020, at least 160 million Americans will be monitored and treated remotely for at least one chronic condition.
The rapid uptake of smart phones which are essentially computers on your hip, if developed correctly can create the “holy grail” of health care, an empowered patient with resources and tools to better manage their own health.
In the coming series I am going to address some of the key issues with the mHealth opportunity. Stay tuned.