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Tag: smart phone use in healthcare

Hospitals Have A Smartphone Problem

By Sean McGowan, writer, Codal Inc.

Sean McGowan
Sean McGowan

In just a few short years, we’ve witnessed the smartphone’s rise from bleeding-edge innovation to household fixture. We’ve watched it permeate every industry, establishing itself as essential to how we interact and operate, to the point where we’ve come to define our times by it—this is the smartphone age.

But mobile technology’s diffusion into the mainstream hasn’t been uniform. Some industries have greeted the mobile revolution with open arms, while others have resisted this paradigm shift (to varying degrees of success).

The healthcare sector falls somewhere in between, and that’s a cause for serious concern. After all, the purpose of technology is to improve the quality of our lives, our society, and our human experience, and it’s alarming that health care—arguably the most direct way to do just that—isn’t leveraging mobile tech to its full potential.

Hospitals, clinics, and other care facilities are facing challenges when it comes to successful mobile health (or mHealth) solutions. And as a mobile app development company with an extensive background in the medical sector, Codal has a few ideas about how to cure this smartphone affliction.

Is There A Doctor In The House?

Just like a doctor diagnosing a patient, let’s start by ruling out what isn’t the issue.

This year, popular medical publication Physicians Practice surveyed 187 doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers to find that a massive 75.9 percent of them said their facility used some form of mHealth on weekly basis. Safe to say, adoption isn’t the problem here.

But the same survey found that the majority of those care facilities were using those solutions between just 0 and 5 hours a week. They might have access to mHealth solutions, but they certainly aren’t using them in their day-to-day practices. The question is why.

The brass of these hospitals certainly doesn’t need to be convinced— not if over 75 percent of them are willing to invest in mHealth solutions. But perhaps we need to dig deeper. Perhaps it’s the physicians themselves who aren’t willing to implement these smartphone tools in their workflows.

But another recent study, this one conducted by the American Medical Association, found that 85 percent of 1300 physicians surveyed believed that digital health solutions gave them an advantage in their ability to care for their patients. The figure attached illustrates a more in-depth breakdown of these findings.

The AMA’s study went even further, attempting to identify exactly what attracted these physicians to digital tools like mHealth. The primary reasons cited were improving work efficiency, enhancing diagnostic ability, and most importantly, increasing patient safety. And these were just the most popular factors—the full responses are a laundry list of the benefits mHealth solutions offer.

Another notable conclusion was the high amount of younger physicians that were especially optimistic about the impact digital tools could have. This finding suggests that these solutions are indeed the future of medical practice in the healthcare sector.

So if everything is pointing towards mHealth dominating hospitals and clinics across the country, why isn’t it? If it’s not the higher-ups or the users themselves, what’s left? The quality of the mHealth solutions themselves.

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Mobile Apps Help Caregivers, Hospitals Build Strong Patient Relationships

Guest post by Alex Bratton, CEO at Lextech.

Mobile Apps Help Caregivers, Hospitals Build Strong Patient Relationships
Bratton

The ability of consumers and healthcare providers to access information and streamline processes using mobile devices is having a profound impact on healthcare.

For the first time this year, sales of smartphones are expected to surpass sales of traditional cell phones. More than 800 million smartphones are expected to be sold worldwide in 2013, according to Canalys. In addition, IDC predicts that more than 170 million tablets will be sold this year, surpassing laptop sales.

All these mobile devices in the hands of consumers means that the mobile app market will continue its torrid pace, and this is true in healthcare too. The market for mobile healthcare apps is expected to reach $400 million by 2016, according to ABI Research.

With the consumerization of healthcare, both doctors and hospitals have a vested interest in delivering an experience that will build patient loyalty. At the same time, new healthcare laws also are putting patients in a position of being more responsible for their own care. Healthcare providers who give patients the tools they need to simplify information and make informed choices will build stronger and longer relationships with patients. Mobile apps will be the heart of these tools.

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