Healthcare is undergoing rapid transformation. With increasing healthcare costs, demands of globalization, increased competition and physician shortages, the industry needs to find innovative ways to satiate the consumers’ rising expectations for better quality, value and outcomes.
Mobile health technology (m-health) is a key enabler that will improve the quality of care by enhancing operational effectiveness, delivering collaborative care for prevention and wellness and achieving improved outcomes. According to Forrester Research report (Feb, 2012) by 2020, 10 billion connected devices are expected to be in use and by 2016 over 350 Million will use their smart phones at work. The CIO Research Study showed that 58% of clients need help for unified communications (voice, video and data) and 78% of multinational corporations plan to adopt mobile unified communications by 2015.
The swift adoption of mobile technology for healthcare is reflected from the fact that till today 247 million have downloaded one of the current 40,000 healthcare apps and it is projected that around 90% of the world’s population can enjoy healthcare benefits from mobile devices at a relatively low price.
Doctors, radiologists and other medical professionals are using wired and mobile devices, including laptops, smart phones and Web-enabled PDAs to view medical images. This technology facilitates informed collaboration among teams of caregivers and makes remote patient care more efficient. Remote Health Monitoring (RHM) enables patients to automatically update their medical records and facilitates effective communication between patients and their doctors. The use of ‘Smart Band-Aids’ and wrist bands relays ECG, fluid status and critical vital signs for constant monitoring of the patient, allowing rapid intervention in case of an emergency. Personal Health Monitoring devices can be connected to mobile health applications that provide feedback and educational content to consumers and also send relevant alerts to their physician or caregiver. Hospitals are also using new wireless systems to streamline communication among staff, improve productivity and enhance quality of patient care.
To meet strategic and clinical goals, while maintaining adherence to regulatory requirements, more and more healthcare providers are turning to mobile technology to collect and access data at the point of care. This new era of connected health is already beginning to reshape the healthcare industry for the benefit of patients across the globe.