Healthcare industry is always in an endeavor to improve the quality of care delivered to patients. Medical science has combatted several dangerous and previously incurable diseases to increase the life span of people as a whole.
Scientists and medical practitioners are contributing their bit for the development of healthcare industry. Off lately, technology experts are exploring opportunities in this arena with the introduction of mobile technology and digital media.
Convergence of Health & Digitization
Combination of health and technology has come as a boon to patients and healthcare professionals. The term ‘technology enabled care’ is derived from ‘connected health’ that leverages the power of digital media and mobile devices to offer sustainable solutions.
Continuous rise in demands of people for high quality healthcare services at cost-effective rates has given rise to digital solutions. These are reliable, have no risk of human error and serve humans in the best possible manner.
Following chart depicts how invasion of technological advancements has helped in delivering healthcare services at reasonable rates. It showcases downward cost curve over the years from 11.9% in 2007 to 6.5% in 2017:
Transforming Healthcare with Mobile Technology
Have you noticed a drastic change in the working pattern of hospitals after the digital revolution? Much of the paper records are now replaced with electronic means for keeping a note of health records, consultation notes and diagnosis test results.
There is a paradigm shift in the mode of communication used for storing and transferring information from patients to doctors or clinics. Mobile phones and tablets have become the preferred devices for communicating with medical practitioners and patients on the go.
Revolution in the Healthcare Industry
Mobile healthcare solutions have transformed operations workflow and introduced an element of integration and automation in it. Following pointers highlight the influence of mobility in this industry:
- Availability of real time information to hospital staff, doctors and patients, even while they are on the move
- Constant check of patient’s health status through seamless tracking of improvements
- Change of prescription for patients (located remotely) based on real time tracking of health status
Mobility in Healthcare
Healthcare industry is always confronted with the challenge of offering the best possible care while complying with safety and privacy of patient’s information. Right from diagnosis of disease, there has to be streamlined and systematic flow of patient’s health information. This is necessary for its easy access by medical practitioners, clinic or hospital staff and patient’s family.
Journey of patient from receiving acute care, post care and home care is simplified with the introduction of mobility in offering diversified healthcare solutions.
Relevance of Mobile Technology in Healthcare
Following infographic is an example of how mobile technology has transformed the way patient connects with hospital and support staff:
Crafting Innovative Healthcare Solutions
Did you know that global M2M healthcare market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 43.52% during the period 2016-2020? Connected healthcare ecosystem with IP connected devices has established smart communication environment.
Mobile technology in healthcare is now combined with cloud analytics and Augmented Reality (AR) to make the most of real time data. Wearables are also used in conjunction with monitoring personal health information (PHI) to stay updated of health status.
Let’s have a look at mobile healthcare solutions that come in the form of apps:
- Virtual consulting apps: Patients can interact with their doctors face-to-face virtually through video conversation using such mobile apps.
- Health & wellness monitoring apps: These apps assist doctors and patients alike in keeping a constant check on current health status.
- Symptom checker apps: These apps are specifically aimed at checking symptoms remotely, without the need for physical presence of doctors.
- Remote heart monitoring apps: Wearables record heart beats and keep a track of calories burnt. These wearables work in synchronization with mobile apps to monitor regular health of patients.
Are wondering how can hospitals benefit from mobility solutions? Following reasons should give you a satisfying answer:
- Seamless monitoring of multiple patients in hospital
- Limited resources can handle a couple of tasks by leveraging the potential of mobility (reduced healthcare expenses)
- Timely treatment and care given to patients leading to enhanced care
- Easy retrieval of patient’s previous health records with handheld smart devices
Hospitals are now coming up with mobile apps for their patients to register and get real time information on their appointment, schedule and test reports. This innovative step of having mobile apps to serve patients effectively has brought about drastic improvement in the quality of healthcare.
Internet of Things (IoT): Game-Changer in Healthcare
Healthcare industry is continuously in search of technology-based solutions that are capable of integrating all stakeholders of ecosystem for cost effective solutions. This is where Internet of Things (IoT) concept penetrates into the healthcare landscape.
This technology has already established its footprint in personal fitness sector with the help of wellness tracking sensors. These sensors record heartbeats to know the wellness quotient of user. This information is passed on to doctors and other medical practitioners through an integrated mobile app that connects all stakeholders of healthcare.
Remote monitoring as a part of mobile IoT solutions allow for early discharge of patient, which reduces the overall expense of post operation care. IoT connected patients, doctors and hospital staff can work wonders when worked in co-ordination through a centralized mobile system.
Role of Big Data in Digital Healthcare
Healthcare mobile technology is making it possible for patients to stay at home and receive the same level of care and attention from professionals. Sensors and wearables collect real time data and store it in a cloud through mobile. The information stored here is further used by medical experts to examine and monitor each patient individually.
Predictive Analysis with Big Data
The data collected through cloud is used in research and predictive analysis. Medical scientists try to figure out pattern in the large amount of data collected. These patterns are studied in depth to come up with proper conclusions.
With this approach, government can know about common healthcare problems faced by citizens and accordingly revise their health policies. This enables them to take precautionary and safety steps for citizens’ wellbeing and good health. Such massive data helps in studying health standards of people based on their regular diet.
Tackling Challenges of Mobile Healthcare Solutions
Striking a perfect balance of maintaining confidentiality of health records and leveraging mobile technology remains the biggest challenge of this industry. No doubt that IoT mobile technology in healthcare leads to smooth communication and faster operations in hospitals, there is always a risk of leak in PHI.
Proper risk assessment during the implementation of mobility in healthcare is the best way to tackle this challenge. More than 70% clinics now use smartphones and tablets to access and record patients’ data. This is a positive sign of adoption to mobile technology for healthcare. This transformation in the healthcare landscape has revolutionized the industry, which now walks on the path of digital innovation.