Mobile devices have had the speediest adoption of any innovation in human history. They offer low-cost communication that can be secure. Nowadays, mobile phones have a huge effect on our society and our lives. One can name a section of our populace as “mobi persons” who utilize their phones for a large number of applications ranging from banking, Global Positioning Systems, entertainment to yoga (Generation, 2010). Data available at statista.com estimates that in 2016 alone 62.9% of the world’s population already owned a mobile phone. However, this projection is pecked to increase to 67% by 2019. Breaking it down, in 2013 to 2016 there were about 4.01 and 4.61 billion mobile phone users in the world respectfully. This tremendous increase in the use of mobile phones can be linked to the introduction of smartphones which accounted for 38% of all mobile phone subscription in 2014. This is expected to rise to 50% of all mobile phone subscription by 2018.
Industry report shows that over 500 million mobile phone subscribers exist in Africa, an increase in 246 million in 2008. The most predominant leaders in mobile subscription in Africa are Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya and Ghana (Mobile Africa Report, 2011). At the end of August 2014, data available to the National Communication Authority (NCA) in Ghana indicated that there were 14,615,048 mobile phone users. This portrays that smartphone usage is on the rise in Ghana and this could be utilized for health purposes by healthcare professionals in Ghana G1 (NCA, 2014).G2 G3
New opportunities for mHealth have come into being as a result of the emergence of mobile communications technologies. With over 1 billion smartphones and 100 million tablets existing, there is so much that these devices can help in terms of healthcare management G4 (Martínez-Pérez, De La Torre-Díez, & López-Coronado, 2013). Industry estimates reveal that about 500 million smartphone users globally will be using a healthcare application by 2015 and by 2018, 50 percent of more than 3.4 billion smartphone and tablet users will have downloaded mobile health applications, these users are healthcare professionals, consumers, and patientsG5 (fda, 2015). Consumers are not only using smartphones to oversee and improve their health but quite an important number (43%) of mHealth applications are purposely developed for healthcare professionals. This covers CME (Continued Medical Education), remote monitoring and healthcare management applications. The existing market for mobile health keeps growing at a progressive rate over the previous years and continues to expand. Looking at the major app stores where one can download these health apps (health & fitness and medical apps), there exist 325,000 apps in these app stores the most that have ever been. This year 78,000 apps have been added to the various app stores. This growth is all due to an increase in android apps, which has seen a 50% growth rate from 2016 to 2017. Accordingly, iOS health apps also have had its share of this growth with a 20% growth margin. But in all android has overtaken iOS becoming the leading platform for health apps and has the greatest number of mobile health app of any app store G6 G7 (Research2Guidance, 2010).G8 G9 G10 G11
One of the most anticipated mobile health applications health professionals have been waiting patiently for is “Medscape” which is very comprehensive and is the number one downloaded medical application on the android platform. Its free content is amazing ranging from 7,000+ drug references, 3,500+ disease clinical references, 2,500+ clinical images and procedure videos, robust drug interaction tool checker, CME activities, and more (Husain & Einerson, 2011). Despite the ease of access to numerous medical apps, efficacy data regarding some apps and the awareness of potential concerns associated with using smartphones in clinical practice, the awareness of healthcare professionals use and attitudes towards the use of smartphones in clinical practice is very low (Koehler, 2013).G12