Numbers tell the story. A study jointly commissioned by Telenor and Boston Consulting Group titled “Socio-Economic Impact of mHealth,” reveals two interesting points: One, 30% of smartphone users is expected to use “wellness apps” by 2015 and secondly smartphone is the most popular device among doctors since the stethoscope. There are many such studies done by various groups with each underpinning the larger role played by mobile technology in patient care and healthcare administration.
Mobility is Gaining Traction
The growing usage of mobility in healthcare can be attributed to two broad factors- industry challenges and rapid advancements in mobile technology. The healthcare industry across the globe are facing challenges like increasing costs, tighter regulatory environment, increasing error-rates, declining profitability and rising demand for quality care. Mobile is answering to most, if not all, challenges by making healthcare organizations to be lean, nimble-footed and more responsive to market demand. Consumers, on the other hand, are showing greater preferences to mobile medical devices and healthcare apps because of the convenience, affordability and the timely medical assistance it offers to them at the point of need.
Healthcare Mobility is Getting Pervasive
Healthcare mobile solutions have evolved a lot in the recent years. From self-help apps on fitness & wellness in the beginning, we now have serious and real medical solutions that are playing impactful roles in diagnosis, emergency care, treatment and are improving outcomes. Today healthcare organizations are making great use of smartphones, scanners, radars, two-way radios and other wireless solutions at every stage in healthcare:
Patient care: Mobile apps and devices are enabling patient monitoring, medication administration, specimen collection & testing and transfusion verification etc.
Community care: Mobile solutions are being used to collect and share data from the field to monitor and manage infectious diseases.
Emergency care: Patients are always connected with emergency care teams through mobile apps and can call for help from anywhere and anytime. The care team can then co-ordinate, as they take patient to hospital, with the staff to provide quickest possible aid to patients.
Clinical collaboration: Physicians and nurses can consult and share critical information at the time of need.
Workforce management: Hospitals and other healthcare organizations are using mobile solutions for workforce scheduling, mobile dispatches and time logging etc.
Hospital administration: Healthcare mobility is being used in areas like patient admission/discharge process, billing, insurance claim processing, asset and facility management etc.
Mobility is fast becoming an integrated element of the healthcare ecosystem. The benefits of mobile health solutions are becoming apparent to caregivers and consumers which will further fuel its adoption. In future, we will see mobile health taking big strides with augmented reality, biometric sensors and genomic sequencers etc., going mainstream with further advancements in mobile technology. Mobility has truly transformed healthcare. And will continue to do so in future.
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