Mobile Health (mHealth): Advantages and Limitations - image

Mobile Health (mHealth): Advantages and Limitations

Mobile health technology, also known as mHealth, has emerged as a prominent field with the potential to revolutionize healthcare delivery and improve patient outcomes. In this material, we decided to critically evaluate the role of mobile health technology as both a promising solution for the future and a potential threat to consider.

What Is mHealth Technology?

In one domain, mHealth focuses on developing devices, apps, and technologies aimed at providing care and treatment to patients. These solutions enable healthcare professionals to monitor patients remotely, deliver personalized healthcare services, and facilitate better communication and information exchange between patients and providers.

In another domain, mHealth technology plays a significant role in promoting healthy lifestyles and assisting individuals in managing their health-related activities. This includes devices and mobile health technologies that facilitate self-monitoring, health tracking, and wellness management.

Furthermore, the convergence of these two areas, the patient care-focused mHealth and the health lifestyle-oriented mHealth, is becoming increasingly apparent in the industry. This integration allows for a more comprehensive approach to health management, where individuals can seamlessly transition between receiving care and maintaining a fit lifestyle, all within the same mobile health ecosystem.

How Popular Is It?

Mobile Medical Sector’s Potential

The mobile medical sector has demonstrated remarkable potential in benefiting both patients and healthcare professionals within the realm of healthcare. Major app stores currently offer approximately 350,000 mHealth apps catering to a wide range of purposes. Since 2015, the number of these applications has doubled significantly.

Projected Growth and Impact of the Global mHealth Market

According to Statista, the global mHealth market is projected to reach a staggering $189 billion by 2025. Mobile medical technology has played a pivotal role in delivering healthcare during the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the popularity and widespread adoption of mHealth solutions are closely tied to healthcare specialists’ active engagement.

User Trends and the Growing Market for Online Fitness Apps

Approximately 60% of users specifically download mobile health apps, highlighting the significant demand for such tools among individuals. Furthermore, it is projected that the market for online fitness apps will potentially reach an impressive $14.46 billion by 2027. These statistics underscore the increasing focus on leveraging mobile applications for promoting and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Empowering Patients Through Mobile Health Tools

A significant proportion of patients, specifically 74%, acknowledge that the utilization of different devices and mobile health tools empowers them to take control of and manage their health conditions effectively. These tools enable patients to actively participate in their care, monitor their health status, and make informed decisions regarding their well-being, fostering a sense of control and autonomy.

Key Factors for mHealth Future

The future of mHealth is shaped by several key factors that are revolutionizing the healthcare industry.

Cloud computing and IoT have emerged as game-changing technologies in the healthcare sector. These innovations enable the efficient handling of vast amounts of healthcare data, including electronic medical records and automated data storage.

The utilization of big data and AI is another crucial aspect of the future of mHealth. The integration of AI-driven solutions enhances healthcare decision-making, enables personalized care, and empowers patients to actively engage in their health management.

Social media platforms play a significant role in promoting mHealth awareness. These platforms serve as valuable tools for answering critical health-related questions, monitoring health concerns, and reaching diverse audiences.

However, as the reliance on digital health technologies increases, cybersecurity becomes an increasingly vital concern. The privacy and security of sensitive healthcare data must be safeguarded to protect patients and maintain trust in mHealth solutions. Strengthening cybersecurity measures will be a critical focus in the future, ensuring that healthcare apps and platforms meet stringent data protection standards.

Top Benefits of Mobile Technology in Healthcare

Mobile health apps offer numerous benefits that transform the healthcare landscape and improve patient experiences.

Mobile health technology provides users with the freedom to choose their most suitable healthcare providers, learn about diseases and treatments, and keep track of their health.

Integration with the IoT is a key feature of mHealth apps. It enhances health facilitation by allowing users to store and access vital healthcare data on their mobile devices, leading to better health outcomes and reducing the risks of overlooking symptoms.

Mobile health apps also prove to be helpful tools for healthcare providers in optimizing their business processes. These apps reduce bureaucracy, improve customer relationship management, optimize data management, and contribute to reducing paper waste, thus benefiting both medical institutions and the environment.

Improved adherence to treatment is another advantage of mobile health apps. These apps help patients remember to take medication on time and provide educational material to support their treatment journey, ultimately reducing the need for re-treatment.

Accessible and straightforward remote monitoring of patients is made possible through mobile health technology. Patients can use their devices to monitor vital signs, fitness levels, stress, sleep quality, and more, empowering them to manage chronic diseases and follow healthcare providers’ instructions effectively.

Lastly, mobile health apps offer faster access to healthcare specialists and treatment. Patients can securely message healthcare providers, schedule appointments, and have online meetings through telemedicine, ensuring timely intervention and preventing serious outcomes.

Examples of mHealth and Their Types

mHealth apps may be split into several categories:

Remote Monitoring & Management Apps

With remote management capabilities, patients and providers no longer need to be in the same physical location. These apps enable healthcare providers to deliver care and monitor patients remotely, eliminating the need for in-person visits to medical institutions. Remote monitoring apps offer features such as checking blood pressure, heart rate, blood glucose levels, and more.

Diagnostic Apps

The application described herein facilitates efficient and rapid data collection from patients, allowing healthcare providers to assess and share information with their colleagues while delivering results to patients within a cloud-based environment. This innovative app grants doctors access to laboratory results, enables the monitoring of medical records, and even supports digital imaging.

Fitness & Healthy Lifestyle Apps

Fitness applications have the ability to educate and guide individuals toward cultivating healthy habits. Additionally, users have the option to input personal information such as weight, height, dietary preferences, fitness level, mental health conditions, and sleep patterns. By analyzing these metrics, the app can offer valuable suggestions to enhance overall well-being and improve health-related statistics.

Apps with Medical Reference Data

These mobile applications offer a convenient way to search for and access the necessary references and guides, eliminating the hassle of getting lost in the vastness of the Internet. The advantage lies in having all the information readily available at your fingertips.

What Are the Risks of mHealth Technology?

One of the key advantages of mHealth is its ability to alleviate the responsibilities of healthcare providers, enabling them to concentrate on critical and higher-level tasks. However, not everyone embraces technology with complete trust and may exhibit resistance to change or innovation. This raises the question of whether mHealth can potentially cause harm and the reasons behind such mistrust.

Too Much Patient Freedom

When discussing the advantages of mHealth, one of the key benefits mentioned earlier was freedom. However, it’s important to remember that with freedom comes responsibility. Some users may mistakenly believe that they no longer need to consult a doctor. They rely on searching for symptoms and treatments online.

The reality is that doctors approach each case individually, taking into account the specificities of a person’s health. Currently, mHealth apps are designed for a wide audience and may not consider the unique physiological differences among users. Neglecting this issue can lead to the risks associated with self-medication outweighing the potential benefits of mobile health apps.

Data Safety

The protection of sensitive health information is of utmost importance to patients. The risk of a data breach and the exposure of personal health data can have severe consequences. The leakage of unprotected health information can lead to damage to one’s reputation and have a negative impact on mental well-being. Patients may face social pressure and potential stigmatization due to the disclosure of their diagnoses.

Many Dependencies

While mHealth apps have gained widespread usage, it is important to note that not every one of them received approval from regulatory agencies such as the FDA in the US. Despite this, many patients heavily rely on these apps, sometimes to the point of neglecting to consult healthcare professionals and instead relying solely on chatbots or other applications.

A study conducted by healthcare experts at Harvard School in Boston examined the accuracy of symptoms presented by websites and apps to users. The study focused on the top 23 symptom checkers available. Alarmingly, the correct diagnosis was provided in only 34% of the patients’ tests. These results highlight the potential dangers of relying solely on apps instead of seeking professional medical advice.

In Conclusion

The prevention of severe diseases often requires a considerable investment of time and money. However, the mHealth app development has the potential to greatly alter this scenario for the better.

Mobile health advancements offer numerous advantages to both patients and healthcare specialists, regardless of their roles. While there are risks associated with mobile health, such as patient autonomy, limited regulation, data security concerns, and potential dependency, these risks can be mitigated through responsible usage of the apps. When mobile health apps are used appropriately and in accordance with best practices, the associated risks are not as severe as they may initially appear.


What are some popular examples of mHealth applications?

There are 3 interesting examples of mHealth apps that have gained popularity in recent years:

  1. Pain Squad+: Designed for pediatric cancer patients, this app aims to improve pain management.

  2. Bleep Sleep: This app assists people with sleep disorders by analyzing potential apnea episodes.

  3. Sugar Sense: Specifically for individuals with diabetes, this app manages all diabetes-related information.

Can mHealth replace traditional healthcare?

It is unlikely to completely replace traditional healthcare. Some medical conditions require specialized equipment, facilities, and expertise that cannot be fully replicated through mHealth apps. In-person consultations, surgeries, and complex treatments will continue to require the involvement of professionals in traditional healthcare settings.

Are mHealth applications secure?

The security of mHealth applications can vary depending on factors such as the app’s design, development practices, and adherence to security standards. Many such apps strive to maintain high-security standards, but it’s important to recognize that there can be potential security risks and challenges. Users should be aware of the app's privacy policy and how their data is handled.


Mariia Maliuta
Mariia Maliuta (Copywriter) "Woman of the Word" in BeKey; technical translator/interpreter & writer

Tell us about your project

Fill out the form or contact us

Go Up

Tell us about your project