Checking up on Mobile Health

6/28/2012

The word “mobile” gets tossed around a lot these days—from mobile phones to mobile workers, and even mobile health. Thanks to the increasing availability of wireless connected devices and technologies, going mobile is more possible, and more widespread among vertical markets, than ever before.

For the healthcare vertical in particular, the stakes are high. Mobile-health or “mHealth” solutions could change the way doctors and patients interact, including how patients manage chronic diseases or recover from a hospital visit. But what will it take to bring mobile-health solutions to the next level?

According to Robert McCray, president and CEO of Wireless-Life Science Alliances, www.wirelesslifesciences.org, while consumers can’t buy health, they can buy healthcare, which can be greatly improved through the use of connected technologies. In fact, according to study released earlier this month from PwC’s Health Industries Group, www.pwc.com/us/healthindustries, roughly half of consumers agree, saying mobile tech will improve the convenience, cost, and quality of healthcare within the next three years.


Two companies working to make this possible are Vodafone, www.vodafone.com, a mobile-communications company, and Exco InTouch, www.excointouch.com, a provider of mobile patient-management solutions. This week, the two companies announced a partnership to deliver a patient-reported outcomes solution that could improve patient compliance during clinical research trials.

The solution, called Vodafone PRO (Patient Reported Outcomes) will help gather high-quality data by allowing patients to report experiences quickly and easily using their mobile phones. With the ability to participate in a study using an interface already engrained into most people’s lives, the quality of results will likely improve.

Similarly, St. Luke’s Hospital, www.stlukescr.org, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is partnering with Amcom Software Solutions, www.amcomsoftware.com, to “strengthen communications in clinical settings.” To do this, the hospital says it will use Amcom’s Mobile Connect smartphone communications solution for encrypted, HIPAA-compliant mobile messaging among physicians and hospital administrators.

Amcom already provides an emergency-notification solution for St. Luke’s, but the hospital was looking to harness mobile technology to further improve staff communication. The ultimate goal is to enhance patient care, while also protecting a patient’s data.

The ability for professionals to make decisions based on realtime information is crucial. Mobile technologies can help. And thanks to the widespread adoption of wireless connected devices and solutions, more people in more places can make fast, informed decisions, which becomes even more important in critical scenarios like healthcare.




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