The forced lockdown and hesitancy in people also have put more importance to mobile health applications. At present, there are over 400,000 mHealth apps available in the app stores.
Author- Tarun Pratap
Picture credits: Varijanta.com
The Covid-19 pandemic brought a change in the way world has worked. Almost every country had to put a strict lockdown at least in the initial phase of the crisis, bringing a complete shutdown of normal services and life all around with people being forced to stay inside. During the lockdown, the focus of hospitals was on the Covid-19 patients and because of nature of the virus, a number of hospitals had to be assigned for the Covid-19 related patients only. The forced lockdown and hesitancy in people also has put more importance to mobile health applications. At present, there are over 400,000 mHealth apps available in the app stores. According to Global Market Insights, the global mHealth market is estimated to reach $289.4 billion by 2025.
Mhealth apps have proved to be useful in terms of providing basic consultation to patients. Most used mhealth apps are related to fitness, weight loss, menstrual period tracking but perhaps the most important contribution is providing psychosocial help. A number of people’s mental wellbeing has suffered during the lockdown and pandemic in general. In this case getting therapy has become easier through mhealth apps given the taboo, there is far more hesitancy among the people to visit the therapist, doing it digitally provides the option of keeping it private. A number of mhealth apps are proved to be popular and successful.
- National health portal of India is Government of India run app which acts as extension to the National health portal of India. The main focus of this app is to make access easy for the people from rural and far areas to the medical help and related information.
Picture credits: nhp.gov.in
- 1mg is another popular app which is more of an online medical store. It provides online consultation, keeps medical records of patients, book laboratory tests and health checkups.
Picture credits: 1mg.com
- Practo is perhaps the most used application on android. It offers online delivery of medicines to consumers, book appointments for lab checkups, scans. It provides the reviews of the doctors in order to provide a better choice making option to the patients.
Picture credits: practo.com
- Curefit is an app that works as a space for all medical things. Other than providing basic medical help such as booking appointments, it also provides fitness classes in a number of options to consumers. Finally it also has option of booking therapy either through video or audio providing option of mental wellbeing through digital means.
Picture credits: zestmoney.in
- Flo is a menstrual period tracking app for women. This app is a password protected, keeping it private to the user directly from even family members or partners. It syncs the date with inbuilt health app of the mobile phones. It also provides additional guidance and data such as water consumption, sleep duration and physical activity.
Picture credits: flo.com
The market for mhealth is growing as ever with the smartphones becoming common among a larger population. The pandemic has showcased mhealth’s utility even more. There are risks and skepticism over losing personal data as it is with any digital means. But ever-growing market is proving that consumers are putting their faith above such doubts and risks and mhealth is bound to be grow further.
The views expressed are the author’s own and do not represent the views of DEF.
Tarun Pratap is Research and Advocacy Officer at Digital Empowerment Foundation. When she is not analysing the various intersections between society and the technology, he likes to read and believe absurdist philosophy.
 Williams, L. (2020). Top 10 mHealth apps that are revolutionizing healthcare. Kolab Tree. Retrieved from https://www.kolabtree.com/blog/top-10-mhealth-apps-that-are-revolutionizing-healthcare/