The introduction of the iPhone brought about a significant change in the way people used their mobile phones - probably because it was the first device of its kind to actually put the Internet into your hand. While many other devices tried to deliver what the iPhone did, none could.
But now, a new generation of smartphones running operating systems similar to those in computers, promise a whole new generation of applications for those of us who want to get tips and take better care of ourselves on a daily basis.
According to the Global Mobile Health Market Report 2010-2015 compiled by research2guidance, more than a third of 1.4 billion smartphone users in 2015 will be running some kind of mobile health care application. I take that to mean all health care apps, including wellness apps.
I know there will be folks who disagree with my perspective on this, but I put health care and wellness into two categories.
Health care is something that is essential for you, normally with an associated cost and some interaction with a licensed physician. Wellness, on the other hand, is advice and counsel on keeping yourself fit and healthy, doesn't come with a price tag (except what you have to pay to download an application) and can be something that a friend told you about.
So doing things like exercising, getting a good night's sleep, steering clear of substance abuse of all kinds, maintaining a reasonable diet can all help in our personalized wellness campaigns. And as they say, "there's an app for that."
For healthcare, it's more than just apps when talking about mHealth. Consumer health electronics devices like portable ECG machines, blood pressure monitors and weight scales seamlessly capture and transmit patient information from home, work or from the road. These devices and applications can be more of a "must" for patients rather than something that is simply nice to have.
I believe wellness applications will be the frontrunner in achieving the numbers in the report mentioned above.
There are already more than 17,000 health care applications that can be downloaded free or at a minimal cost for iOS, Android, WindowsMobile, Blackberry and other mobile operating systems. More than half of these are wellness apps with that number continuing to grow as the market for mHealth ramps up.
As the year goes on I plan on dedicating some of these blogs to highlight the various healthcare and wellness applications available for personal and/or professional use.
Have a safe and healthy week.
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