Mobile Health is defined by Thomas Martin as “the practice of medicine and public health through the use of mobile devices” (Martin). Some of these devices include: smartphones, tablets, and wireless computers. The digital world now obtains endless possibilities, especially in regard to assessing an individual’s health conditions. With apps commonly being a free source to install on a device, the low-cost mHealth options tend to be favored by plenty of people. Martin addresses how this incredibly inexpensive alternative serves as a way for patients to become more involved in and aware of their own health. This further pushes individuals to create consistency as they stay in the know of their daily symptoms and bodily feelings while using tracking apps or virtual programs. Therefore, Martin sees the heavily incorporated concept of mHealth to be an excellent way to bring about population health benefits and decrease the rising expenses within the healthcare system. A highlight of the smartphone apps that sticks out to Martin is the ability for patients to adjust their mobile settings to receive short message service (SMS) or texts. These messages can be sent as a tool to inform or remind someone to take action with their health. This process is considered to be a direct impact on bettering population health, for it reminds individuals to stay connected with their progress. In addition, the messages often extend to individuals that reside within disparate populations (those that are so unlike they cannot be compared) that experience medical afflictions and provides them with a source of education that they are able to comprehend and apply to their lifestyle. While this is a clear indication of improvement in the healthcare system, Martin feels that technology is evolving at a rapid pace that policymakers, academics, and clinicians are unable to keep up with. Illustrating the same fear as Martin, William Melton, a medical student at Manchester Medical School, writes a letter to the Medical Education and Informatics Unit to request the incorporation of mHealth into their medical school curriculum.  He suggests the incorporation of the Apple iBooks Author application in clinical practices, for medical students are already provided iPads upon their clinical years. Melton tested this platform and noted its efficiency and ease of use. He states within his letter, “iBooks Author is an intuitive and simple piece of software. It was easy to create an attractive and professional text in a relatively short amount of time” (Melton).  Along with Melton, Brenda K. Wiederhold directs her focus towards the patients and their changing of landscapes. She identifies the fairly recent cultural shift into mHealth and how it is affecting the individual’s behavioral health conditions. Wiederhold shares her findings through her article and brings the light to the benefits. For instance, she discovers through her own research other authors claiming that mHealth can aid diagnosis, better treatment plans, and extend accessibility of services to those of all social statuses. “However, evidence-based research is sparse, and those studies that exist focus primarily on the use of mHealth for treatment purposes, including all the self-management activities performed by patients” (Wiederhold). She continues to explain how sensors used within apps or electronic health devices like a Fitbit have evolved and improved tremendously. There are numerous types of sensors seen today, including motion detectors, pedometers, and cameras with the ability to recognize patterns. “Recent advances in sensor technologies have enabled sensors to become more comfortable, more reliable, more transparent, and less invasive to consumers” (Wiederhold). She deems that through the use of mHealth, medical breakthroughs are more possible than ever before. In agreement to the other authors, Shrirang Mare feels that mHealth serves as the bridge for caregivers to monitor their patients and provide better care. Although, Mare takes into account the potential harms that sensor-enabled apps invite. For instance, she claims that maintaining privacy with low-power sensors is a constant battle and that three contributions must be made to the networking system to resolve any security issues. First Mare proposes Hide-n-Sense, “a wireless protocol that provides strong security and privacy properties at link layer for mHealth sensing with low energy overhead for the sensors”(Mare). Secondly, she creates a prototype of the protocol on a wireless device and tests if it’s feasible at a low power. To test the protocol’s privacy Mare and her research group uses three techniques: MAC striping, adaptive security, and an asymmetric resource requirement.  For the third contribution, she analyzes the security, privacy, and energy levels of the protocol. In conclusion to her experiment, she finds that her protocol is “more energy-efficient than the existing security protocols for low-power sensors, and much more energy-efficient than existing privacy-preserving wireless protocols”(Mare). Ken Congdon brings attention to the ever so fluctuating definition of mHealth. He proposes the belief by many that mHealth only pertains to programs and applications on mobile devices. He stresses the alternative belief that mHealth can be considered as anything pertaining to technology within the medical healthcare system. Through his research, Congdon discovers that the way the World Health Organization defines mHealth is inconsistent with the way in which the National Institute of Health defines it. The first believes that mHealth is used to address health priorities while the second believes the purpose of mHealth to improve healthcare services, outcomes, and research. When Congdon addresses the role of mHealth in communication, collaboration, and popular health, he gets right to the point. He feels that the primary benefit of mHealth is “improved care quality and patient empowerment” (Congdon). The most inspiring applications that make up the mHealth system are designed to provide patients with access to better care. Congdon includes an example of this within his article that reflect his findings from David Collins, the Senior Director of mHIMSS. “For example, Collins references CallDR, a mobile app dedicated to streamlining the consultation process by allowing physicians to securely send patient data (including photos and video) and engage in real-time collaborations with specialists (anywhere in the world) via a mobile device” (Congdon). This specific app was developed by a physician, and Collins believes that this verifies that mHealth is being embraced by members of the clinical community.  In my opinion, mHealth is something we shouldn’t fear, but we should monitor closely. I agree with Martin and share the same belief that mHealth is truly benefiting the population health. If there is a way for us to connect our medical sources to individuals within disparate countries or regions we shouldn’t take that opportunity lightly. As Melton discussed, I strongly support the idea of educating medical students with the incorporation of mHealth. Melton’s letter directly portrays how medical students are pushing their teachers to become more endorsed and aware of the technological evolvement as well, which is the direction teachers truly need to be taken. Sometimes we have to work backwards with our teachings, for it seems that the younger an individual is the more the person is familiar with technological applications and objects. Therefore, there is so much that elders can learn from younger adults in regard to technology. I find what Wiederhold states about the lack of evidence-based research to be intriguing, for it is true that when researching mHealth it is easier to locate information supporting the treatment purposes and not so much the ways that mHealth can be reshaped in the future. When considering the effects of mHealth on an individual’s behaviour, I feel that it should also be taken into consideration the effect on one’s cognition abilities. I feel that some individuals comprehend information better when they receive it from their doctor in person, while others digest the information easier through their own virtual research and or application usage. This would be a great test to experiment with. I agree with the research of Congdon, for he address the need to familiarize ourselves with the actuality of what mHealth truly serves as. Identifying the definition of mHealth clarifies how we can proceed to fine tune its use in all aspects of the healthcare system and not just the treatment process.  Mobile health has impacted today’s society and healthcare system in drastic ways. It has been incorporated into so many free self-management tools that so many individuals use without even realizing they are. With net neutrality being an arising issue, we should definitely prepare the mHealth system for when it takes affect. Once individuals are forced to invest financially into to the internet, the mobile health system may take a downfall. For now, we must bring to our attention the way in which mHealth is affecting the future of health and the effectiveness of its purposes. It is important we devise a clearer system and educate doctors to provide care that is compatible to mobile softwares and applications. The healthcare system and technological advances must remain on the same page, or else there will be room for error to take place. We must not allow the mHealth system to take the reins, for if there were to ever be a flaw in the system, it would be out of our hands to resolve.

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