Mobile Devices – Revolutionizing patient care. Get on board or get out of business.

by Richard Stokes

heroAt the mHealth Summit technology conference in Washington, DC this past year; Paul Jacobs, CEO of Qualcomm stated that more than 5.6 billion people are using cell phones, and that the smart phone has outpaced computers.

More specifically in the healthcare space, and according to a COMPTIA study, nearly one third of healthcare providers already use some sort of mobile device to access EMR/EHR’s.  2012 is going to see this trend continue and revolutionize the way that patient care is delivered.

In addition to the efficiencies that practices gain by using mobile devices to access patient information either at the time of service or remotely, one of the fastest growing markets in this arena is the health app market for devices like the iPhone.

Just the other day my wife showed me an app that she is now using that counts her daily calorie in-take.  It then goes a step further and based on her eating habits and exercise regimen it calculates how long it will be before she hits her weight loss goal.  Pretty cool!

So, other than the overall improvement of people’s personal health how does something like this directly affect a physician’s practices?  The way I see it is that it is very similar to how Apple shifted the business technology space through the introduction of the iPhone.  As consumers started using them and bringing them in to work, the demand for integration in to the business environment grew.  What we have seen is the consumer market driving change instead of the business environment.

I think we are going to see the same thing in healthcare and 2012 will bring more of it.  As consumers continue to adopt things like healthcare apps they are going to be looking at their healthcare providers to either be on the same page as them or they will be looking for some direction on how they can get better and faster information.

I was at a Wireless Technology Forum event in 2011 and the keynote speaker, Praveen Chopra; CIO of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta was asked about his thoughts on the growth of mobile devices and how did he see that changing the physician/patient relationship.  His short answer was that there is no way to avoid it.  He went on to point out that upcoming generations prefer to communicate via mobile devices and so providers better get on board if they want to stay in business.

Network 1 Consulting is a 13-year-old, IT Support company in Atlanta, GA.  We become – or augment – the IT department for professional services companies: medical practices, law firms and financial services firms.  Our IT experts can fix computers – but what our clients really value is the industry-specific best practices we bring to their firm.  This is especially important with technology, along with regulations and cyber threats, changing so rapidly.  We take a proactive approach to helping our clients use technology to gain and keep their competitive advantage.

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