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Meaningful Health Care Informatics Blog

Sep 24 2012   8:49PM GMT

How mobile OS upgrades and BYOD can challenge organizations



Posted by: RedaChouffani
BYOD, mhealth, mobility

Many questions came up around device management and BYOD implementations this week, as more people began using the latest iOS release on their existing devices. Some of the challenges that IT teams faced were around user frustration that a few apps have not functioned as originally anticipated. Others were disappointed that their favorite apps, such as YouTube and Google Maps, were no longer included on the iPad and iPhone and the alternatives were not as good as the originals.

Most issues experienced around the latest release of iOS are not as concerning or critical as inaccuracy of the map app for a patient trying to race to the ER. Should the device owner or manufacturer control what is on the device? That is the question that has been raised by the release of the latest iOS. IT departments have typically waited several weeks, months, or sometimes years prior to any significant upgrades. Delayed upgrades, like the ones seen when upgrading windows operating systems for desktops, simply allowed IT to evaluate the functionality and minimize interruptions to end users.

However, BYOD adds more challenges to IT folks in the health care as they are not in full control of the devices. Sometimes upgrades are done without any review by IT and can render some of the apps useless or even make them disappear. There will be a need for end user education on mobile devices as mobile dependency continues to increase and businesses continue to adopt a BYOD policy. To ensure that upgrades will not interfere with the business critical apps that clinicians and other health care professionals use, that process should be centrally managed.

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