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mHealth and Community Health Centers

Healthcare is a field that can be unavoidably expensive. The latest developments and equipment are often only available to people with higher incomes, simply because of the money required to develop and maintain. Healthcare is also, however, a field that everyone needs at some point in their lives. For people with lower incomes, healthcare can be a major issue, and ignoring it for money’s sake can be life threatening. Solutions to this dilemma are one avenue that mHealth investigates.With the presence of mobile healthcare, the affordability and reach of healthcare are greatly extended. Apps can be produced at a much lower cost than the technological systems of the past, and distributed more widely. Mobile healthcare technology can connect pro-bono doctors with a wider range of patients

Mobihealthnews.com recently released a report about a new Robert Wood Johnson Foundation initiative. The foundation is investigating and collecting information from low-income communities, discovering where their healthcare experience is lacking and how health data can be implemented. By assessing the connectivity and needs of these communities, RWJF hopes to be able to provide them with the necessary tools to get connected to the mobile healthcare world. RWJF is focusing on data collection, and how health data can help these communities.

With mobile healthcare, we have the unique opportunity to meet people where they are. Instead of the patient having to find a way to navigate to the doctor’s office, the healthcare can come to the patient. Often, there is a stigma surrounding healthcare, but with mobility the stigma can be bypassed and eventually overcome. An important feature in these communities is community health centers. Community health centers are the bridge between mobile healthcare and low-income communities. It is important for these health centers to invest in mobile healthcare and extend their reach in the community. These centers serve as a healthcare system for the uninsured, and their services are invaluable. With the added power of mHealth, community health centers can more fully connect with their patients, maintain care, and offer aid.

The uninsured and/or low-income community is no less in need of healthcare than any other community, yet they often are unable to access it. With the power of mobile healthcare, assistance and connectivity can be offered to all. Studies such as the one currently run by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation are crucial for the advancement of mHealth, which can radically change the quality of peoples’ lives.

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