Mobile Health: Are You Ready for the Future of Healthcare?

Successful digital transformation is not about converting existing processes or individual technology components from analog to digital. Successful digital transformation is about leveraging digital technologies to disrupt and transform legacy ways of working, legacy business models and existing technology solutions without disrupting the flow of business.

Technology has dramatically changed the global healthcare industry. One major area of disruption has been the patient-doctor relationship, which is becoming much more patient-centric. A key driver of this change has been the growth of the mobile health technology field, what many refer to as mHealth, which uses mobile devices to monitor patient health, educate consumers and convey data back to healthcare providers. Mobile health technology helps doctors provide patients information related to their health before it becomes an emergency. And patients gain 24/7 access to doctors via telemedicine, so they can pose general inquiries without an office visit. These consultations are HIPAA compliant to ensure the patient’s security and privacy. 

One clear benefit of mHealth technologies is that they reduce the number of patient visits to doctors’ offices and hospitals for routine checkups and consults, allowing doctors more time to take care of patients who are hospitalized or in need of critical care. According to C2 research, 75 percent of doctor visits, urgent care visits and ER visits could be handled safely and effectively over the phone or via video conferencing. Increased use of mHealth technologies frees up time and resources that can be used to address acute and major chronic conditions.

As the healthcare industry is working to redefine outcomes, practitioners and providers are figuring out ways to extend patient care beyond the exam room into patients’ homes and workplaces. Integrated mHealth applications allow providers to successfully streamline their communication with patients, manage a patient’s condition around the clock, provide the ability to personalize healthcare to patients’ individual needs and improve hospital workflows. Healthcare providers that leverage mHealth technologies to manage and access important healthcare data can improve provider efficiency and patient outcomes without compromising security.

But, despite rapid advances in the technology, some clinical practitioners are still reluctant to adopt mHealth. The American Medical Association’s Chief Medical Information Officer Michael Hodgkins, MD, MPH recommends developing guidelines for safe and effective mHealth apps and suggests that only when mHealth devices are deemed evidence-based, validated, interoperable and secure should they be used as critical components in a clinical practice.

Healthcare providers must embrace change – but it’s challenging to navigate the digital age in highly regulated industries like the healthcare industry. ISG helps guide healthcare enterprises along their digital journey and align their technology investments with their business goals. Contact us to discuss how we can help you.

About the author

Xavier Santhosh Babu is a Manager in ISG Managed Services.