Mobile health technology: Advances, Facilitations and Promotion of Autonomy

(Rami Al-zayat, Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Raquel Japiassú Carvalho and Ms. Caroline Ayumi Waricoda Horaguti, a third-year medical student. They are affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writers and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


Medicine has contributed to humanity for thousands of years through healing, promotion and prevention of health. Over this period, advances such as the discovery of penicillin and the production of vaccines have provided greater quality and life expectancy. Like societies, medicine is constantly evolving and deconstructing, ranging from complementary health practices to the use of recent mobile technologies.

The advancement of mobile technologies in the world has also reflected in the creation of eHealth or eHealth. This new frontier addresses the use of information and communication technologies to deliver and improve health services. In addition, another area under development is Mobile Health, or mHealth defined as the insertion of wireless communication devices to aid public health and clinical practice. Devices can range from personal digital assistants, patient monitoring devices, mobile phones, and applications.

Health has extensive areas of application, with benefits to health promotion, supporting diagnosis, and monitoring patients, favoring greater adherence to treatment. Mobile health helps, above all, the patient’s autonomy, enabling self-management of chronic conditions and self-monitoring of clinical parameters. mHealth’s broad application area also includes clinical data storage, surveillance and epidemiological follow-up, and the better structuring of care networks.

The use of mobile technology in the area of ​​health is of great importance for society, since it provides numerous benefits. However, some limitations are present such as: the medical need for clear communication with the patient and in cases of barriers in virtual communication, the face-to-face mode is again the best option. Thus, it is remarkable that technology can limit health in some specific cases.

Healthcare Information Technology (IT) has demanded attention regarding its security, since medical mobile applications have become a habit in society, so mechanisms have been instituted in order to determine deaths related to healthcare IT and its security conditions. Therefore, it is necessary to consider as an important security measure the assessment of mobile medical applications, in order to create a database that can be used in studies and technology improvement.

In this way, mHealth has become an indispensable tool for medicine, because it makes communication possible for patients with physical or social locomotion difficulties. In addition, it is a direct form of knowledge, especially in research that has not yet been clarified, resulting in benefits to the entire population.

REFERENCES:

Barton, A.J. The regulation of mobile health applications. BMC Med 10, 46 (2012). Accessed on 2020 July 20. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1186/1741-7015-10-46

Rocha T. A. H., Fachini L.A, Thumé E., Silva N.C, Barbosa A.C.Q, Carmo M. et al. Mobile Health: new perspectives for the supply of health services. Epidemiol. Serv. Health [Internet]. 2016 Mar. Accessed on 2020 July 20. Available from: http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S223796222016000100159&lng=en. https://doi.org/10.5123/s1679-49742016000100016.

About the authors

Raquel Japiassú Carvalho is a third-year medical student. She is a member of IFMSA Brazil UniCesumar, and a member of the Academic Health League for Vulnerable Populations (LASPV) and Academic Health and Spirituality League (LIASE).

Caroline Ayumi Waricoda Horaguti is a third-year medical student, member of the Academic League of Family and Community Medicine (LAMFaC).

Both believe that medicine is constantly improving and recognize the importance of the advance of mobile technologies in health and its reflection in society.

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