Mobile Power Will Re-Energize Medical Care
While definitions of mobile healthcare usually focus on smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices, home monitoring of patients is part of the same trend. Then there are provider-specific apps, including physician reference and rounding apps such as UpToDate and PatientKeeper, mobile electronic health records, wireless medical devices in hospitals, and mobile administrative apps that replicate the billing and appointment-making functions of a hospital's patient portal. The heightened ability for physicians to do clinical work on their mobile devices, and communicate directly with patients' smartphones, is laying the groundwork for much bigger changes.
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Paul Brient, president of PatientKeeper, says he has seen several distinct growth periods in the adoption of mobile devices during his 10 years with the company. After Palms, Brient notes, there was the Treo smartphone and the BlackBerry. But today’s smartphones and tablets are something different.
“We’re seeing penetration rates go up significantly among physicians,” he says. “And the things you can do with these devices are so much broader. We’re bringing PACS images down to iPads and even to iPhones. For doctors, it’s no longer a question of whether you use mobility, but of how you use mobility.”