mHealth and Big-data Integration: Promises for Healthcare System in India
Background The use of mobile devices in health (mobile health/mHealth) coupled with related technologies promises to transform global health delivery by creating new delivery models that can be integrated with existing health services. These delivery models could facilitate healthcare delivery into rural areas where there is limited access to high-quality access care. Mobile technologies, Internet of Things and 5G connectivity may hold the key to supporting increased velocity, variety and volume of healthcare data. Objective The purpose of this study is to identify and analyse challenges related to the current status of India’s healthcare system—with a specific focus on mHealth and big-data analytics technologies. To address these challenges, a framework is proposed for integrating the generated mHealth big-data and applying the results in India's healthcare. Method A critical review was conducted using electronic sources between December 2018 and February 2019, limited to English language articles and reports published from 2010 onwards. Main outcome This paper describes trending relationships in mHealth with big-data as well as the accessibility of national opportunities when specific barriers and constraints are overcome. The paper concentrates on the healthcare delivery problems faced by rural and low-income communities in India to illustrate more general aspects and identify key issues. A model is proposed that utilises generated data from mHealth devices for big-data analysis that could result in providing insights into the India population health status. The insights could be important for public health planning by the government towards reaching the Universal Health Coverage. Conclusion Biomedical, behavioural and lifestyle data from individuals may enable customised and improved healthcare services to be delivered. The analysis of data from mHealth devices can reveal new knowledge to effectively and efficiently support national healthcare demands in less developed nations, without fully accessible healthcare systems.