In recent years there has been a dramatic rise of smartphone health and medical applications. Technology within the healthcare industry has changed significantly with medical apps and mobile telecommunication devices leading the way.
How do they help?
Healthcare apps can help to improve and manage acute and chronic health conditions in a more personalized way at the touch of a button. It has now been internationally recognized that healthcare apps relate more personally to individual's general health and well being by offering and monitoring various programmes such as calorie intake. These unique devices are the ideal way for helping people who may be struggling with a wide range of health and lifestyle changes. Health experts claim that healthcare apps are here to stay and will increase tenfold in the future.
What can they do?
New, innovative healthcare apps or personal medical monitoring devices, as they are more commonly known, can date and track a number of conditions. Blood pressure, cholesterol and oxygen levels can now be checked on a daily basis in the palm of your hand. Data is fed into a tracking system, which can actually help doctors detect problems. This of course can lead to early intervention and keep patients out of hospital. Many in the healthcare industry have now agreed that mobile apps and smartphones can transmit healthcare feedback to an individual to assist in promoting healthier behavior and a better lifestyle. Millions of people have now downloaded self-tracking healthcare programmes to make them more aware of how important it is to change their habits and the way they live.
Impact on Pharmaceutical industry
Recent data has shown that the influx of healthcare apps is certainly beginning to affect pharmaceutical companies, such as ICON, worldwide. The pharmaceutical industry is currently undergoing a period of great transformation due to the demand in healthcare apps. To combat these changes, pharmaceutical specialists are now moving away from what were known as "blockbuster drugs" to the development of more personalised medicine. Needless to say healthcare apps have eroded the bottom line somewhat for many profitable pharmaceutical businesses so much so that they are re-thinking their business strategy. With this in mind, companies also have to embrace new products and get a foothold within the healthcare apps industry. If not, pricing pressures and new healthcare innovations will decrease pharmaceutical profit margins even further.
Working in collaboration
Healthcare apps have also been designed to work alongside and with other devices to make a greater impact medically. They can monitor diabetes and measure blood glucose, control the delivery of insulin and also the inflation and deflation of a blood pressure cuff. Users can also benefit from healthcare apps that allow for the measurement, storage and display of ECG signals. There's no question there is an increased marketplace for health and medical apps. The US Food and Drug Administration experts estimate that there may be more than 500,000,000 smartphone users downloading healthcare apps around the world by 2015. Of course medical device software has to be regulated properly and overseen by the relevant medical organizations to help keep them safe.