The exponential rise of mobile device usage is affecting nearly every industry in some way. When it comes to the healthcare industry, the impact of mobile devices is undeniable. Mobile devices are transforming nearly nearly every facet of the healthcare industry–patients, consumers and healthcare providers– in some way. Smart phones are opening the door to new ways for doctors and patients to diagnose illnesses and communicate with one another.
For example, with recent advances in healthcare mobile apps, a sick patient can capture a video of their inner ear to monitor glucose and receive a diagnosis and treatment plan without even needing to leave their bed. Moreover, mobile healthcare technology is also improving day-to-day patient health by giving them the ability to track and monitor key health metrics.
In this blog, we outline 5 ways that mobile technology is changing the healthcare industry from the exam room to the board room.
- Increased mobile usage is opening the door towards improved care and convenience
- Mobile healthcare apps are on the rise, creating an extremely lucrative industry
- Wearable healthcare technology
- Mobile healthcare analytics
- Mobile + healthcare = endless possibilities for patients and physicians
Increased mobile usage is opening the door towards improved care and convenience
As a species constantly striving for greater convenience, we now live in a mobile society where nearly every computational task can be completed on the go. For physicians and patients, tablets and smartphones have become indispensable and valuable tools for diagnoses, storing critical patient information and improving the quality of patient care.
A recent healthcare IT study found that 80% of physicians surveyed own tablet devices, which is more than double the rate of the average consumers, according to Healthcare IT Outcomes article. Another survey on healthcare analytics found that a third of healthcare organizations are allowing patients to access healthcare information via their mobile devices. At this rate, it is predicted that healthcare data collection and sharing through mobile devices will grow exponentially. Already today, both physicians and patients are prolific nmobile adopters. Taking into account their positive impact thus far, mobile usage within the healthcare industry has the potential to greatly benefit the global population in nearly endless ways. Within the general rise of mobile usage in the healthcare industry, software developers and engineers have been creating new and useful mobile healthcare apps left and right.
Mobile healthcare apps are on the rise, creating an extremely lucrative industry
Today, there are already more than 100,000 mobile health apps for sale in app stores around the virtual world, with more than 4 million free downloads every day, and by 2017, these apps services are projected to reach a value of $26 billion, according to Business Insider.
Healthcare apps can be broken down into two categories: approximately 85% are for intended for wellness, meaning they are primarily used by consumers and patients, while 15% are purely medical–intended for use by physicians. Popular wellness app categories include physical fitness and training, self measurement, self-testing (such as a calorie counting app or weight tracking app). By now, you probably know someone who has purchased a fitbit, a wearable technology devices that measures data such as the number of steps walked, heart rate, quality of sleep and other personal metrics. Integrated with this device is a healthcare mobile app that automatically communicates with the physical device and tracks whatever the user wants it to. With devices like these, patients and consumers can stay more in tune with their bodies and, ultimately, stay healthier and, hopefully, live longer in the end.
Wearable healthcare technology
The fitbit is a good example of wearable healthcare technology, which is gaining steam among health conscious consumers around the globe. Wearable technology is an offspring of mobile technology–they go hand in hand. Because of recent advancements in sensors, wearables are moving from being useful for monitoring personal health metrics to being great tools for helping diagnose potentially deadly diseases. In addition to monitoring and diagnoses, other wearable applications include data streaming, augmented sensory perception and even bio embedded sensors.
Mobile healthcare analytics
63 percent of healthcare executive say that data has led them to change the way they make big decisions. And, the bigger the decision, the bigger the difference that sophisticated analytical capabilities can make. The ability to leverage mobile healthcare data allows us as patients and physicians to make decisions on the go. For physicians, a mobile healthcare analytics provide convenient access to a practice’s key performance indicators. Using analytics, healthcare executives can better decide if they should change their strategy or long-term course. For example, with big data, a healthcare executive could determine whether or not their organization should change their care delivery model, or lead the industry in integrating patient data with clinician workflows and electronic health records or incentivise the use of mobile health technologies and patient generated data.
Mobile + healthcare = endless possibilities for patients and physicians
With these three examples, we’ve barely scratched the surface in terms of how mobile is affecting change within the healthcare industry. In addition to the rise in analytics, wearable healthcare technology, mobile usage and mobile apps, there has also been a focus on healthcare personalization, location based healthcare, telehealth and mobile healthcare video. The potential benefits of mobile healthcare technology are endless. Programmers, engineers and developers will only be limited by their imaginations as they continue to create innovative and practice solutions to help mankind improve continue to improve its health and well being. With mobile healthcare technology, we can positively position our species for the future and learn more than ever before.
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