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The American healthcare industry going mobile

The rise of digital health organizations in the US has resulted in a wealth of mobile apps and services, medical and employer products and increased popularity of tools that can incorporate these new and pre-existing workflows.

finger interacting with touch screen

The rise of digital health organizations in the US has resulted in a wealth of mobile apps and services, medical and employer products and increased popularity of tools that can incorporate these tools with new and pre-existing workflows. New legislation has spurred many of these trends, specifically the HITECH Act, which offers financial incentives to physicians to adopt digital patient health and data records management systems. Many of the requirements to obtain potentially thousands of dollars in incentives are related to the implementation of mobile apps and other types of services that can best be accessed via mobile phones or tablet devices.

Mobile devices increase proximity between physicians and their patients

Some mHealth services are simple niche tools that aim at making a doctor’s life easier and frictionless For instance, physicians can more easily keep current on research and publications with Docphin, a web and mobile app that takes features from RSS readers and social networks to provide current information with trusted source credibility. Startups like drchrono provide information and certification for HITECH requirements, and improve medical staff efficiency with EHR integration. But more than digital assistants, mobile devices are powerful tools for data collection and processing. Either way, those recent innovations all have the same end goal: saving time to physicians so they can ultimately concentrate on patients and avoid misdiagnosis.

While empowering consumers and employees

But patients also are gaining tools with the spread of mHealth offerings. mHealth apps can help patients find doctors, connect with their physicians for advice, setup reminders about when to take their medicine for instance. For instance, HealthTap is a consumer-side app that can be customized to track conversations on conditions and diseases, and connects directly with physicians. Another type of mHealth app help consumers adopt healthier behaviors. Applications like LUMOback use sensors to track users’ data, posture and habits, to help them improve their health in the long run. Aside from improving people’s health, those apps claim to help them, the government and companies a lot of money.

USA: the healthcare industry is adopting EHRs, encouraged by government

By August 17, 2012 1 comment
doctor writing down notes

The HITECH Act has promoted the spread of electronic records and other means to improve healthcare conditions via substantial incentives. Compliance objectives are a high priority, and mobile devices are helping doctors to optimize implementation.

 

The healthcare industry has been greatly affected by recent legislation that encourages the adoption of patient data management systems and electronic health records. As explained by Capture Billing, this part of the Stimulus Package which was passed in 2009, the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act offers financial incentives for physicians to adopt the mentioned improvements. On a national scale, widespread adoption of PDM systems and EHRs would create improved quality of care, patient safety and lower healthcare costs. Practitioners can qualify for the incentives by purchasing and using a government certified EHR and demonstrate proper or “meaningful” use according to a list of objectives.

HER implementation is a priority for the industry

With thousands of dollars in potential incentives, physicians and hospitals are prioritizing adoption and implementation of EHRs and the meaningful use objectives. Meeting regulatory requirements and managing digital records are top priorities for healthcare professionals. According to InformationWeek’s Healthcare IT 2012 Priorities report, 94 percent of surveyed healthcare organizations have implemented or plan to implement EMR or EHR, 44 percent have already done so. These groups are prepared to spend a substantial sum to update their systems - 62 percent of respondents have allotted 20 percent or more of their annual IT budget to be spent on electronic records systems this year.

With cellphones as a central device to access patient data

While legislation and software are defining this movement, hardware is influencing its implementation. The adoption of mobile device usage by physicians is spiking, particularly tablets. This year, 66 percent of doctors are using tablet computers for medical purposes, up from 45 percent in 2011. Laptops remain the most common portable device, rising slightly from 74 percent last year to 78 percent in 2012, and smartphone use rose from 61 percent to 69 percent. Doctors overwhelmingly use mobile devices to access patient data - 82 percent use them for this purpose, as well as to communicate with other healthcare providers (62 percent). Nearly half access decision support or other business intelligence applications, and a third communicate with their patients.

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1 Comment

We shouldn't be surprised. Technology is here to stay. We should expect to see better informed people about their health options, we should expect to see faster and better health services as well. Today if I want to know how to prevent an asthma attack all I have to do is check some info about that on my mobile. Things were a lot different ten years ago.

Submitted by sally - on November 27, 2013 at 07:09 pm

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