Have you noticed that healthcare is changing? What was once an industry focused on waiting to see a doctor to treat symptoms is now morphing into one where the individual has more control over his or her wellness in the long-term. Still, whether an individual is focused on wellness or is truly sick, mobile is playing an important part in the overall outlook and real-time communications is key.
The Huffington Post recently gave an inside view into how mobile is changing the face of healthcare in ways that are sure to impress even the most skeptic of patients. In a recent piece, the examination of mobile applications included the benefits delivered through front and back office operations, as well as the cloud. And while we may be accustomed to those signs that ask us to turn off our mobile devices while in the examination room, there may be better reasons to leave them on.
For instance, the development of innovative applications to meet real-time communications and other challenges has been a significant focus. Apps are now emerging that center on time management, eHealthrecord access, data sharing, reference/information access, decision-making, patient monitoring, education and training and so much more. In the back office, IT professionals can easily identify what infrastructure needs attention when they’re on the move, improving the productivity of field technicians and IT teams overall.
Innovations aimed toward the cloud aim to solve real-world problems. While wearable technology was initially focused on the ingenuity of making technology wearable, the next round of solutions actually aim to improve the healthcare industry. Solutions that tend to mimic technology we already wear, such as a wristwatch, have a much better chance of acceptance. If that solution also delivers value to the patient, such as monitoring blood sugar, monitoring heart health, monitoring AIDs testing and more, the chance for market penetration is increased.
The key to adoption, however, may be with the older population. While this segment of the market doesn’t tend to be early adopters of mobile technology, they would be primary candidates for many of its benefits when it comes to healthcare. As the average age of the population continues to increase, there’s a need for improved focus on delivering the right type of information and care.
As the Baby Boomer population enters retirement and needs more medical attention, wouldn’t it be great if much of that could be delivered through mobile capabilities and the cloud? A White House advisory council thinks so and recommends the development of a one-year task force to study technologies that can help America’s senior population, as well as guidelines for remote monitoring and mHealth innovation.
The demand for real-time communications is not new, but we have been trained to wait a certain amount of time in healthcare. With so much innovation around us, however, consumers will quickly tire of this status quo and demand better from this mammoth industry. Given the potential to realize a healthier bottom line as a result of a healthier population, there’s little reason not to act.