How COVID-19 Challenges are paving the way for mHealth Innovations

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How COVID-19 Challenges are paving the way for mHealth Innovations    Given the extreme situation the world is facing these days due to the ​COVID-19  pandemic governments many companies as well as citizen movements are  focusing on developing mhealth initiatives so as to keep the people well informed  while also helping to manage the crisis situation.  Healthcare Industry Outlook in The Times of Coronavirus Pandemic

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Today the country’s well-developed health system is forced to deal with the new  challenges of a pandemic as serious as Coronavirus. Earlier the health services  were all about individual care. However now they have to start thinking about  public health in the context of an outbreak instead.  Bringing about that sort of change in such a short span of time is challenging for  any health service. They are required to change the way they think and act – a  complete change of approach in general. Furthermore a common factor in the  times of pandemics is the high numbers of patients who reach the hospitals all at  the same time.  This can have a huge impact on even well-progressed healthcare systems as they  are not used to coping with such kinds of numbers on a daily basis. Adapting to  all this is not an easy task.  So the best the healthcare systems do right now is thinking about the different  approaches strategies as well as practices that must be employed when  confronting an epidemic like the COVID-19.  An early response is the most effective strategy a healthcare must follow in such  a time and the key to early response lies in moving beyond centuries-old methods  and incorporating advanced strategies that are familiar but are still slow to be

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adopted in public health. Artificial intelligence data analytics and smartphone  apps today are all making finding and diagnosing people with an infectious  disease far more efficient than ever before.  Earlier people who used to develop the typical symptoms of the disease – cough  fever and shortness of breath used to physically visit a health care provider or a  primary-care doctor. However that’s the last thing people should do if they are  potentially infected with such a highly contagious disease. Rather the health  officials are now pleading with them to connect to a doctor remotely via an app  who can triage their symptoms while they are still at their home.  Moreover the clinical brick-and-mortar medicine might be rife with the possibility  of virus exposure. Thus the healthcare industry is urging people to call a  telemedicine center and describe their symptoms where the doctors would  determine if they require COVID-19 testing without exposing anyone else. Here  comes the significance of mhealth innovations in battling a serious pandemic like  Coronavirus.  Growth of mHealth Solutions  ● Practicing Medical Distancing:

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To fight the coronavirus outbreak key authorities such as the WHO and CDC have  been calling out for ways to diminish any sort of physical contact between the  healthcare providers and the patients which is known as Medical distancing.  In these efforts to minimize the healthcare-specific transmission of COVID-19  telehealth service is becoming a force these days. The effectiveness of telehealth  service has been serving as a promising influence in the areas including  cardiology diabetic care and dermatology etc. This leads to high-quality remote  care while also saving the time and physical space.  Although telehealth has proved itself as an amazing measure to support medical  distancing there are still certain obstacles that need to be addressed. There are  issues around the characteristics of the patients such as age educational  background etc. unreliabilities around the legal liabilities in addition to issues of  privacy and confidentiality.  Healthcare app development companies​ have taken a note of such issues and are  working to eradicate them.  ● Crowdsourced Tracking Apps:  The high occurrence of COVID-19 crises highlight the requirement of tracking the  infected on a timely basis as well as their contacts. There are two major and

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common weaknesses observed in the surveillance systems – Flexibility and  timeliness.  Digital health professionals are making it possible to crowdsource disease  monitoring through the mode of coronavirus tracing applications. People from  across the globe enter their data – travel routes prospect of them getting  infected etc. for the healthcare experts to track the hotspots as well as the  carriers.  ● Exchange of Health Information for better interoperability:  Due to the pandemic and the overcrowding of health facilities and patients a  robust health data exchange has become important in the health infrastructure. It  has also proved that health data should not just include the medical data of  patients but also a wide data type coming in from the offline and online activity of  the individuals.  There will be a lot more HIEs which are going to be observed as well as a number  of portals for the patients and the health departments to access the files.  Market Share of mHealth Solutions  The global mHealth solution market in the present year of 2020 is USD 50.8 billion  which is expected to reach USD 213.6 billion by the year 2025 at a high CAGR of  33.3. Below are some of the factors which play a major role in the increasing

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demand of ​mhealth solutions​ among both patients as well as healthcare  professionals:  ● Increasing adoption of smartphones  ● Growing penetration of 3G/4G networks  ● Increasing focus on cost containment in the delivery of healthcare  ● Rising utilization of connected devices and mHeath apps for the  management of chronic diseases  ● Increasing focus on patient-centric delivery of healthcare  ● Rising demand for home healthcare services  The mHealth solutions market globally is dominated by North America and will  continue to do so during the forecast period of 2020-2025. It is closely followed  by Europe the Asia Pacific Latin America and the Middle East and Africa.  5 Ways in Which mHealth is Helping Healthcare Delivery  Combating a pandemic as critical as COVID-19 requires immediate measures and  tools that facilitate the delivery of right treatment in a variety of settings that can  smoothly diagnose the cases of coronavirus infection. Digital tools like  telehealth robots cloud computing and AI-based chatbots are playing a major  role in limiting the outbreak of the virus.  As China commenced its response to the deadly virus it inclined towards its  technological domain AI artificial intelligence data science so as to effectively

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track and fight the pandemic. Here are some of the ways in which mhealth is  tracking and battling the coronavirus pandemic.  ● Use of Telemedicine  The use of telemedicine is making headway as a sustainable solution for the  treatment and subsequent prevention of COVID-19. It allows patients to stay at  their home and seek medical help virtually from physicians and decrease the  spread of the virus. Health services are being encouraged to make use of  telemedicine technologies and self-assessment tools so as to provide remote  care for patients who are not having urgent medical help.  A number of telemedicine technology companies are expanding their use of  telehealth solutions to examine diagnose and treat patients remotely at home  while also providing them with professional guidance clinical data and reduce  any kind of physical contact so as to avoid the spread of the virus.  ● Contact Tracing Apps  Smartphones today are playing a crucial role in monitoring the health of a patient.  Apps have been built to monitor the people infected with coronavirus and aimed  at tracking the registered individuals with the help of their phone’s GPS.

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It allows people to record their movements and match them up to those of known  patients with COVID-19 with the help of filtered data given through national  departments of public health. Furthermore the users will also be interrogated  about if they are infected providing an effective way to identify any potential  transmission.  Additionally Apple has also launched an application Apple COVID-19 to help in  screening users. It provides an online screening tool with some guidance on when  to opt for the testing of COVID-19. The users will also get answers to their  frequently asked queries regarding COVID-19 on this app.  ● Use of Drones and Robots For Contactless Delivery  When it comes to providing valuable goods to people who buy online and are  quarantined at home Robots and drones prove to be quite beneficial. These are  immune to infection and help in delivering food and supplies. Robots can be used  for distribution of drugs and food disinfection and assessment of vital signs.  Many tech companies are stepping out to get more robots in force so as to deliver  medical supplies within healthcare environments. Drones are also being used to  carry out contactless disinfection of areas and spray disinfectants on a large  scale.

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Drones through thermal sensing are also assisting crowd control officials and  realizing people with elevated body temperatures indicating the potential of  infection with the virus.  ● AI to Identify Track and Diagnose Outbreaks  Expeditious mhealth innovations that include new applications of AI artificial  intelligence and ML machine learning to screen people and assess risks of  infection have made AI a significant contributor to recognize track and diagnose  outbreaks.  Additionally technology like NLP Natural Language Processing ML Machine  Learning and location monitoring can diagnose the potential places where the  outbreak has the possibility to take place.  AI can also combine population travel and disease data so as to predict where  and how rapidly the infection might spread. Healthcare organizations and  governments are making use of this information so as to respond to the disease  quickly. This also helps to make better treatment decisions as per medical  imaging.  AI can also assist in uncovering new viruses by examining data from any similar  kind of viral disease and then using the data to track the types of medicines and  vaccines that would be most effective. For instance data from the chest X-rays of

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the coronavirus patients can serve as the guidance for AI models so that doctors  can provide diagnoses more rapidly.  ● Wearables For Remote Monitoring  COVID-19 has taken all of us by surprise and early detection is the absolute key to  monitor the spread of the disease and eventually improve the survival rates.  The popular wearable health devices such as Garmins and Fitbits are quite  effective in monitoring a range of physical parameters such as body temperature  heart rate sleep movement blood pressure and oxygen saturation levels. They  generate a distinct lack of actionable information. When this data is combined  and cross-checked it gives a more compatible profile of the overall health. It  continuously examines and analyzes coughing and respiratory activity in ways  that are not possible with traditional monitoring systems.  mHealth in The Post-Coronavirus World  The Post-Coronavirus world is going to be remembered as when medical  communications such as management of several non-communicable diseases or  provision to primary care transferred by default to digital mode as opposed to  exceptions. The impact of COVID-19 is going to be huge on the global digital  health industry with the acceptance of digital health as the new normal.

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The new world after the pandemic will also likely empower other technologies  such as AI IoT 5G video conferencing etc. to help us all connect in an entirely  new variety of approaches. We are already witnessing all this happening in  real-time in this global pandemic and in a never-imaginable pace.  Primary care has now finally started to embrace telehealth and has been  delivering a digital approach so as to manage streaming care to the appropriate  places.  Although there’s a lot still left to be done. There is a dire need for the  incorporation of a strong governance in deployment of all these approaches.  There should also be a strong clinic decision support within the deployments as a  rule in place of exceptions.  The next significant modification which can be seen promoting is an adoption of  precision health both in personalized as well as predictive health setup. We will  witness the use of digital technology in making people empowered to  self-manage themselves.  Furthermore we need to understand that this new world of medical infrastructure  is going to be quite different from the healthcare world that we are used to. It

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would need us to remain open as well as adaptive. The one thing which is for sure  is that the mhealth world is going to change for the good

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