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Jul 6 2012   8:00AM GMT

mHealth for health care payers: 5 key focus areas for mobile applications



Posted by: Jenny Laurello
Health plans, mHealth, mhealth apps, mobile applications development, Mobile apps, payers, Risk assessment

Guest post by: Baskar Mohan, Director, Healthcare Practice, Virtusa Corporation

Some would argue that mobile health (mHealth) applications are getting more attention these days than gaming applications such as Angry Birds or Draw Something. According to a recent survey, more than 80% of health care payers and providers are thinking about going mobile with plans to roll out at least one application in the next year or so. The adoption of mHealth applications is being primarily driven by consumer demand and the lack of information available to consumers. Customers these days are looking at ways to interact with their doctors and insurance companies through different channels, and mobile devices are in facilitating this. The affordability of mobile devices has also created a slew of opportunity for application developers to create applications more rapidly and deploy them in multiple platforms and environments.

As an important element of the health care ecosystem, payers must integrate, exchange information and harness the collective power of the industry. They can do this by bringing in systems such as mobility, which allow for significant economic advantages. Mobility provides an opportunity for payers to optimize and make entire processes more efficient by offering a platform that allows for better patient adherence, management and engagement. Payers are now beginning to realize the economic benefits that mobility offers and are among the first to adopt mHealth initiatives.

I believe that as payer organizations start building their mobile applications, they should focus on the following five areas to get the maximum benefit for all of the parties involved:

  • 1. Member Interaction – The current generation of GEN Y members demand more from their Payers as far as technology goes. In their view, every year, millions of dollars are spent on IT but they do not reap the full benefit of it. They still have to call payers by phone and wait several minutes before getting connected to a live operator. This causes a lot of frustration and potential loss of customer base.
  • 2. Provider Interaction – Providers’ valuable time is best used when they provide care to their patients. It’s almost criminal to have them spend too much time on the phone and Internet, getting approvals for procedures and prescriptions. This takes away significantly from time with patients. Payers should focus on building mobile applications that will increase provider utilization.
  • 3. Governance, Risk and Compliance – Payers are under scrutiny these days and are being monitored and audited for compliance violations. This is a sensitive area as payers hold the bulk of the member PHI information. Applications that monitor and enable employees to report violations would help organizations put into place comprehensive controls and help collect valuable data for audits.
  • 4. Care Management – Many of the payers in the past have outsourced this function for a number of reasons. To that end, mobility is helping to bring a new perspective on how payers can manage their own programs and provide the best possible care to their patients and, in turn, potentially save millions of dollars.
  • 5. Medical Management – With the rapid development in technology in the field of medicine, medical management is no longer bound by outdated procedural frameworks. Mobility helps provide the right information at the right time, thereby increasing member satisfaction and customer confidence.

The health care ecosystem has seen many challenges, issues and opportunities over the years. Mobility is one such area that offers tremendous potential to re-invent the health care industry and has the ability to act as a catalyst for the next stage of its evolution.

The above five areas will help payer organizations align their corporate goals with their mobility goals. Keeping these areas in mind will also help organizations provide value to their customers while at the same time increasing revenue.

Please visit www.virtusa.com or email Mr. Mohan directly for more information.

Comment on this Post

Leave a comment:

Aria601  |   Jul 12, 2012  2:09 PM (GMT)

If an EHR is not highly usable, intuitive and flexible, a physician will be pre-occupied with the task of operating the convoluted technology as opposed to caring for the patient. The EHRs placement in the exam room is also extremely important. The EHR must not physically come between the patient and provider, making the classic triangle model and ideal exam room EHR layout. However, this is mainly an issue with desktop systems or more cumbersome hardware, and can be completely avoided with a tablet compatible EHR which can be laid flat on any surface. Tablet EHRs can even support and foster patient interaction, allowing them to physically hold or view their record and take a more proactive role in their care. There are EHRs out there designed specifically to support patient physician interaction, hopefully in time more physicians will move toward these technologies. For more information on EHR and patient interactions, check out my blog post: [A href=”https://bit.ly/N5YO4b”]


 

Kuzhalan  |   Jul 20, 2012  4:21 AM (GMT)

Baskar,
I understan it is need of the time to embrace mhealth however Won’t the proliferation of mhealth increase the risk of Data breach..?


 

Baski  |   Aug 12, 2012  8:19 PM (GMT)

Yes Data Privacy is one of the key areas to consider when implementing mHealth applications. I think with the tools available out there it’s up to the implementation team to make sure that all the gaps are covered.


 

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