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Sep 18 2012   8:11AM GMT

mHealth for health care providers: 5 key areas for customer-facing mobile applications



Posted by: adelvecchio
mHealth, Mobile apps, mobile health, patient monitoring, payers

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

The adoption of mHealth applications is being driven primarily by consumer demand in response to the lack of information available to consumers. The health care industry is rapidly gearing up to meet that emerging demand. Providers and payers, two of the important constituents of the health care ecosystem, are aware of the significant benefits mobile adoption brings them. In my previous post on mHealth, I had shared the key focus areas for payers while implementing mobile applications for their customers. In this blog, I’ll focus on the member/customer side of the provider interaction and how mobile applications will help provider organizations keep information up-to-date for their patients but also increase the bottom line revenue by marketing to their prospective customers.

When provider organizations start building their mobile applications, they should focus on the following five areas to get the maximum benefit for all involved parties:

  1. Patient monitoring – Providing up-to-date status information of inpatients to their loved ones and family puts technology to good use and enables loved ones to interact with hospital staff. This, in turn, has the ability to bring comfort and ease to family members and the patients themselves. Patient monitoring applications also reduce the customer call time, thereby saving a lot of money.
  2. Send a flower/e-Card – Friends and relatives can send flowers and e-cards to patients in hospitals and other health care facilities using applications on their smart devices. Users will be able to login to the provider websites and enter patient details to order flowers or e-cards. This feature helps friends and relatives stay close to the patient. It also creates additional revenue for the hospitals.
  3. Find a physician – This is a very important feature for new patients and prospective customers. This application will allow patients/customers to find a doctor that fits their exact needs, read reviews, talk with the doctor, and set up appointments.
  4. Conditions & treatments – Customers these days are very informed and looking for information on the latest procedures available to treat their conditions. By providing information not only on available internal procedures but also connecting to external websites, customers are able to access all of the information on a single web page.
  5. Promotions/events – Providers can use this as an effective tool to market their products to their prospective customers by sending them regular updates on upcoming promotions and events. For example, a flu shot event at a local provider office, along with special discounts for family members could be advertised through a mobile application.

Members and patients have been frustrated with the lack of information given to them by provider organizations. The creation of mobile applications to help hospitals and providers focus on individual health care can alleviate these frustrations.

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

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