In an effort to cut costs and improve quality of care, the healthcare industry is increasingly turning to mobile technology as a way to improve communication and engagement with patients.
Mobile Health, or mHealth, uses mobile communications and devices to expand and encourage interaction between all healthcare parties. It allows doctors and hospitals to monitor and evaluate patients, collect and manage data, and administer healthcare procedures. Providers are given news ways to engage with patients, ultimately improving compliance with prescribed medications and treatments. This greater engagement has the potential to reduce readmissions, educate patients on treatment pathways and provide quicker identification of problematic health issues before they escalate.
Despite being small in comparison to other facets of the healthcare industry, the mHealth market is expected to reach $26 billion USD by 2017 with the potential to save billions in healthcare costs. The widespread success of mobile technology in healthcare will depend on the support of all parties. Although many providers face the difficult task of integrating mHealth into already existing systems, patients across the globe are already showing steady support for its use. In the US, almost 61 percent of adults with online access claim to have downloaded or used a mHealth app. A third of them also seek medical advice via online or mobile interfaces before seeing a doctor. These numbers are expected to increase as patients continue to take responsibility for their health and engage their healthcare providers via mobile technology.
Further benefits of mHealth include:
- Patient data captured electronically at point of care.
- Eliminates data entry errors that often occur when clinical notes are first recorded on paper and then entered later into the EHR system by nurses and administration.
- Increasing the accuracy of medication administration.
- Access critical patient information from any place at any time.
- Make treatment decisions based on up-to-the-minute patient data.
- Improves patient experience with real-time data sharing.
- Provides patients with a means to access their own health information and its analysis.
- Encourages communication and connectivity between patient, doctor, and provider on all matters.
- Provides physicians with an ever-present clinical decision support tool.
- Allows a doctor to monitor patients and collect data remotely.
- Eventual “full circle” data that will constantly inform and monitor all parties.
The adoption of mobile technology in healthcare is not just limited to communication between provider and patients. Mobile technology is already being utilized by insurance companies to support their services.
To learn more about how mobile health is growing amongst the healthcare industry, click here to download the infographic.