Mobility – mHealth to be precise – is the latest buzz around healthcare. In this article, we will discuss what applications hold the most promise for providers and their patients, and what does the future hold for the booming mHealth industry.
Today, we live in a mobile world where internet enabled smartphones have made information ubiquitous. The rising demand for wireless devices and creative & productive applications have made mobility readily adoptable in the healthcare industry. In comparison to EHR, where physicians show a little shilly-shallying owing to its somewhat lengthy implementation and disruptions it can create in the workflow, mHealth initiatives are often spearheaded by physicians because of the convenience they can provide. Clinicians want to access health data and communicate with patients and staff without being tethered to their offices. This freedom allows them to be more productive while providing better care to their patients.
Recent data shows just how pervasive mobility has become among healthcare providers. A recent HIMSS Health IT Report shows that 80% of physicians surveyed own tablet devices. This is more than double the adoption rate of the average consumer, and it is only expected to expand. It’s also clear that mHealth adoption doesn’t end with the clinician — providers are involving patients as well. For instance, a 2012 Mobile Technology Survey by HIMSS Analytics indicates that 1/3 of healthcare organizations are allowing patients to access health information using a mobile device. This data bodes well for mobile device manufacturers and mobile software developers, but what does it mean for the future of healthcare delivery? What promise does mHealth offer providers and patients that is contributing to this meteoric rise? To understand this, we must first embrace the idea of a clear understanding of mHealth.
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