With the rapid rise of mobile health management tools for smartphones and tablets, it’s no wonder that the number of people who’ve downloaded a health app has nearly doubled in one year — from 124 million in 2011 to 247 million in 2012.

Mobile health apps are a growing business expected to reach an estimated $11.8 billion in global revenue by 2018 — that’s according to the online health care education portal Allied Health World, which compiled information from a variety of sources around the web to show how smartphones are making a positive contribution to smart healthcare.

But not all mobile health (mHealth) apps are created equal — which is why the the United States Food and Drug Administration last year began requiring mobile apps making health claims to pass an approval process before being made available to consumers.

The infographic below highlights the availability of more than 40,000 medical apps for smartphones and tablets, like those that count calories, manage prescriptions or even monitor blood pressure.

One U.S. company Happtique, has just launched an mRx pilot program that enables physicians and other health practitioners to electronically prescribe medical, health, and fitness applications directly to their patients — improving care by helping them stay more engaged in monitoring their own health and wellness between office visits.

Mobile technology is transforming the landscape of health care delivery across the globe — the applications quickly taking hold are the ones that provide needed services, and make doctors and patients more efficient.

The mobile health revolution is not hovering somewhere off in the distant future… it’s already here.

Smartphone = Smart Healthcare?
Courtesy of: Allied Health World