Mobile devices havehad the speediest adoption among various innovationin human history. They offer low-cost communication that can be secure. Nowadays, mobilephones impact on our social lives is very huge. One can name a sectionof our populace as “mobi persons” who utilize their phones for a large number ofapplications ranging from banking, Global Positioning Systems,entertainment to yoga (Generation, 2010). Data available at statista.
com estimates that in 2016 alone 62.9% of theworld’s population already owned a mobile phone. However, this projection is pecked to increase to 67% by 2019.
Breaking it down, between 2013 and2016 an estimated 4.01 and 4.61 billion mobile phone users existed globally respectfully. This tremendous increase inthe use of mobile phones can be linked to the introductionof smartphones which accounted for 38% of all mobile phonesubscription in 2014. This is expected to riseto 50% of all mobile phone subscription by 2018. Industry report shows that over 500 million mobile phone subscribers are in Africa, an increase in 246million in 2008. The mostpredominant leaders in mobile subscription in Africa are Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya and Ghana (Mobile Africa Report, 2011). At theend of August 2014, data available to the National Communication Authority(NCA) in Ghana indicated that there were 14,615,048 mobile phone users.
This depicts the surge in the usage of smartphones in Ghana and to the advantage of healthcareprofessionals, this could be adopted for health purposes in Ghana (NCA, 2014). Newopportunities for mHealth have come into being as an outcome of the emergenceof mobile communications technologies. With over1 billion smartphones and 100 million tabletsexisting, there is so much that these devices can help in relation to healthcare management (Martínez-Pérez, De La Torre-Díez, & López-Coronado, 2013).Industry estimates reveal that about 500million smartphone users universally will be using ahealthcare application by 2015 and by 2018, 50percent of more than 3.4 billion smartphone andtablet users will have downloaded mobile healthapplications, these users are healthcare professionals, consumers, and patients(fda, 2015). Consumersare not only using smartphones tooversee and improve their health but quite animportant 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 theprevious years and continues to expand. Looking at the major app stores where one candownload these health apps (health & fitness and medical apps), there exist325,000 apps in these app stores the most that have ever been. This year 78,000 apps have been added to the various app stores. Thisgrowth is all due to an increase in android apps, which has seen a 50% growthrate from2016 to 2017. Accordingly, iOS health apps also have had its share of this growth with a 20% growth margin. But in all androidhas overtaken iOS becoming the leading platform for health apps and has thegreatest number of mobile health app of any appstore (Research2Guidance, 2010). One of the most anticipatedmobile health applications healthprofessionals have been waiting patientlyfor is “Medscape”which is very comprehensive and is the numberone downloaded medical application onthe android platform.
Its free content isamazing ranging from 7,000+ drug references, 3,500+ disease clinical references, 2,500+ clinical imagesand procedure videos, robust drug interaction tool checker, CME activities, andmore (Husain & Einerson, 2011). Despite the ease of access to numerous medical apps, efficacy data regarding some apps and theawareness of potential concerns associated with usingsmartphones in clinical practice,the awareness of healthcare professionals use and attitudes towardsthe use of smartphones in clinical practice is very low(Koehler, 2013)