mHealth: Its Implications Within The Biomedical And Social Models Of Health - A Critical Review
Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science
School of Psychology and Social Science
At the outset, it should be pointed out that mHealth stands for the provision of health-related services using mobile communication technology. The coverage of mobile phones around the globe including developing countries is growing with enormous speed. Research indicates that mobile phones have the potentials to provide health systems with new possibilities to address problems in accessibility, efficacy and costs of healthcare. The aim of this article is to discuss these contributions and their implications within the dominant biomedical model as well as social models of health. Further consideration is given to the roles of mHealth in building a bridge between these two models. Our conclusions indicate that mHealth has enormous potential to enhance the quality of health services in number of areas including: remote data collection, epidemic outbreak tracking, chronic disease management, emergency response systems, remote patient monitoring, and health promotion. All these areas largely relate to social model of health rather than to biomedical model. In these and other areas such as mental health, for example, biomedical model have come under increasing criticisms and intellectual pressures to broaden its approach and consider, value and incorporate the contributions of new technology, mHealth within healthcare delivery system. It is in this context that this article recommends that mHealth needs to be incorporated into the formal trainings of medical as well as allied health professionals and practitioners. By taking this approach, then, it is possible to consider mHealth as a viable bridge between the two models.