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Aug 7 2013   11:10AM GMT

Mobile capture apps key to improving healthcare



Posted by: adelvecchio
iPad, mHealth, mhealth apps

Drew_Hyatt_VP_Mobile_Apps_KofaxGuest post by Drew Hyatt, vice president, mobile applications, Kofax

With the widespread adoption of mobile applications for everything from business productivity to reference information to entertainment, the first mobile healthcare applications — primarily diet and exercise trackers — hardly seemed like a revolution. But mobile healthcare has rapidly developed to include highly sophisticated remote patient monitors, video conferencing, online consultations, personal healthcare devices such as heart rate monitors, and wireless access to patient records and prescriptions.

The potential of smart mobile capture solutions to improve healthcare is enormous, both in terms of patient benefits and cost savings. A new report from the Groupe Speciale Mobile Association, in collaboration with PricewaterhouseCoopers1, found mobile healthcare could save $400 billion in healthcare costs over the next five years.

Another report from Deloitte LLP2 predicts that remote monitoring technologies will save nearly $200 billion over the next 25 years by managing chronic diseases in the U.S. Mobile-based healthcare applications can reduce medical visits by 10% by monitoring patients for emergency indicators. The research also indicates that home monitoring could replace face-to-face meetings, which could provide as much as 25% in savings and offer a clear improvement in patient experience.

Mobile healthcare is also used to train medical professionals. As part of the iMedEd Initiative at the University of California at Irvine School of Medicine, each student is issued an iPad with digital access to course information, including electronic textbooks, diagnostic tools such as digital stethoscopes, and mobile ultrasound units. The iPads can also access patient medical records within the limitations of an encrypted security system.3

Perhaps one of the greatest contributions of mobile healthcare is in developing countries, where there is support for ad hoc and manual versions of automated systems that are commonly used in the developed world.

Francis Collins, M.D., National Institutes of Health director, sees universal benefits in developing countries. According to Collins, “Many opportunities to improve health very much depend upon cell phone technologies, since cell phones are so rapidly expanding in many parts of the world that otherwise don’t have much access to communication.”4

Given that 80% of the world’s population has access to a mobile device5, recent interest and investment in mobile healthcare applications is bound to spark new innovation.

Smart mobile apps deliver significant value to enterprises and agencies embracing mobility. They also provide a distinct advantage to health organizations and medical professionals looking to improve the accuracy of captured patient information while maintaining document security and chain of custody. These solutions turn a smartphone or tablet into a sophisticated scanning device capable of capturing information and extracting critical data.

Smart mobile apps enable healthcare institutions to leverage their customers, constituents, and employees as contributors and participants in the care process, leading to better engagement and patient care.

1. Connected Life: The impact of the Connected Life over the next five years; II. mHealth, Saving Lives and Money, PricewaterhouseCoopers Private Limited, February 2013 bit.ly/XIzWsI

2. mHealth in an mWorld: How mobile technology is transforming health care, 2013 Deloitte Development LLC., bit.ly/XIHMm0

3. Mobile devices vital to education of medical students, February 17, 2013 By Greg Slabodkin https://bit.ly/15YlPTI

4. Mobile Technology and Health Care, From NIH Director Dr. Francis S. Collins, NIH MedLine Plus Magazine http://1.usa.gov/Y9bT57

5. mHealth, McKinsey and Company, https://bit.ly/XrWrkw

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