Telehealth is the application of clinical information technology to share information from one location to another. Electronic communications have improved the clinical health status of patients through better access. According to the Center for Connected Health Policy, telehealth has four domains of application. Although all the domains of telehealth are operational, mobile health (mHealth) is more applicable in the nursing practice because the technology can operate on many software platforms to support healthcare.
The mobile health domain is the use of mobile telecommunication tools, such as tablets or mobile phones, and many software apps for devices to support the delivery of health care. Mobile devices have promoted access to health care services and improved self-care objectives for patients because they can manage their health outside the hospital (Thuemmler & Bai, 2017). The technology helps in the implementation of health education and tracking.
Various advantages and disadvantages are evident in the application of mobile health. The domain supports health interventions at the convenience of the patient and a lower cost compared to receiving care in the hospital (Abbasgholizadeh Rahimi et al., 2017). The domain also increases control over the person’s health. However, the domain can have a drawback in that it places health management in the hands of patients who may lack necessary clinical knowledge. The cost of implementation and dangers to information security are other related disadvantages.
An example of the mobile health domain includes the use of glucose tracking mobile apps for diabetic patients. The app can be used in nursing practice to support diabetes care of a patient and reduce the cost of treatment in the hospital. The technology lessens the burden of glucose monitoring on health care providers.
Technology has supported the use of telehealth to improve health care outcomes. The various domains of application support the use of telecommunication technologies, thus improving care outcomes. Health care providers, including nurses, can use the domains, such as mobile health to improve the quality of care.