1.1 Mobile Health Concept:
According to world health organization (WHO) mobile health care (M-health) is defined as “a medical and public health practice supported by mobile devices, such as mobile phones, patient monitoring devices, personal digital assistants (PDAs), and other wireless devices. M-Health also involves the use and capitalization on a mobile phone’s core utility of voice and short messaging service (SMS) as well as more complex functionalities and applications including general packet radio service (GPRS), third and fourth generation mobile telecommunications (3G and 4G systems), global positioning system (GPS), and Bluetooth technology”. Istepanian and Pattichis(2003) made a general definition assuming that M-health is covering a wide range of areas of networking, mobile computing, medical sensors, and other communication technologies within healthcare. On the other hand Lester et al. (2011) and Rai et al. (2013) defined M- health as a clinical services that patient can access through mobile devices, where blaya et al. (2014) found M-health as a tool used by health workers to track patients with chronic dieses. Deng (2014) said that M-health is a tool for information and guidance for people in general. Akter et al. (2013) and Mechael (2009) described the M-health as a technological supporter for healthcare from a distance in order to monitor and improve the health status of users. For this research M-health will be defined as a novel and new system empowered by using smart phones, personal digital assistants (PDAs), and any other mobile technology to attain a wide range of healthcare and preventive health services (Singh et al.,2017).
In general M-health enable users to access a personalized and interactive health services effectively because of their mobility and ubiquity (Deng et al., 2014). M-health offers preventive health services, help with treatment schedule, facilitate faster healthcare delivery, provide a relatively lower healthcare cost and achieve wider healthcare access (Chatterjee et al., 2009;Khan et al.,2010; Lee et al.,2015).Using healthcare apps _as the latest method for M-health_ enable people to manage and track their health personally like :heart rate, calories burned, distance walked , and tracking health related information. It meant to be used for better understanding for personal health goals (Vincze, 2017). According to Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project (2012); there is 69% of U.S. adults keep track of at least one health apps – weight, diet, exercise, or routine(Fox &Duggan, 2013).
While in developed countries M-health is another luxuries improvement in health care services, it has an essential need to make the basic health care services available for the widest possible areas in developing countries. In 2009 the United Nations Foundation, Vodafone Foundation Technology and WHO published a report which profile more than 50 M-health projects taking place in the developing world. The main goal was to make healthcare more effective, and have a significant positive impact on clinical outcomes such as reduced infant mortality, longer life spans, and decreased the growth of contagious diseases. The report showed a promising support from the governments, institutions and people, for example using free SMS to quiz citizens in their knowledge about HIV/AIDS and the location of the nearest testing center, surprisingly the project get popular in short time(Vital wave,2010). Another report was published by WHO in 2011; the report found that governments in low and middle income countries had interest in M-health technology, the projects made a noticeable improve in reducing the diseases that mainly linked with poverty like HIV,TB, and Malaria. The project also affected the timing in emergency protocol, the drug shortage in clinics, the health workers training and the diagnosis procedures (Kay, 2011).
The rough list of basic branchs in healthcare services has a different aspect. For developed countries M-health concentrate on personal health improvement, chronic disease (diabetes, blood pressure), old age health services, reduce the common protocol steps in using paper work through health care services, and personal health improvement and wellness (fitness activity, diet assistance, weight coaching, stress reduction, smoke quitting) .
In the other hand developing countries are in a mission to spread the basic healthcare servicesand concentrate on covere the access to medical information, the access to healthcare providers, online support groups for contagious diseases, and health alerts and reminders (doctor’s appointment reminders, medication adherence).
“We live the Apps Culture” (Do, 2011, P.353) where everything is available on the apps (work, home, health and entertainment). The latest development in M-health came along with smart phone and apps rising. Gill (2012) reported that when the word (medical) was searched on iphone apps store there were 9000 apps, for android the same word gained around 5000 apps.
Going back to WHO report in 2011, there were surprises in the result, first developing countries is not far behind in the level of using smart phone, according to the report developing countries reached 77% while developed countries reached 86%. Second there is an exponential growth in the use of smart phone where the main reason is the relatively low-cost. WHO and the other global institutions recommendations revolve around the idea of seizing the moment to make huge steps in the process of public health improvement.
1.1 Mobile Health Concept: