We’ve commented about mHealth (mobile health) before here at the Iron Comet blog. But because the technology is continuing to evolve along with the potential savings and convenience, we thought it important to keep you up to date.
Surveys have shown that most patients want to use digital and mobile technologies in their medical care. Over 70% that were surveyed nationally said they would like to get reminders through email when they are due for a doctor’s visit. The same percentage would like to be able to communicate directly with their doctor and receive the results of diagnostic tests electronically. This will certainly alter how health care will be delivered in the future. A simple thing like reminding people to take medication at the proper time is a huge step to better outcomes.
Over 60 % want access to an EMR and about the same number would like to use home monitoring devices that allow them to e-mail blood pressure readings to their doctor.
Privacy and security is the big elephant in the room when it comes to mobile devices and technology. Many fear the loss of a Smartphone or tablet that contains personal material might end up in the wrong hands which we all know leads to trouble.
Because of these issues, new policies will no doubt be employed to address the problems. More than likely in our view, there will be more government regulation of medical devices and diagnostic tools. When patients rely on home monitoring devices to transmit data, there will surely be some new rules put in place to ensure that the devices are safe and beneficial. The FDA is now considering whether to regulate medical screening and diagnostic tools. They said the following in February 2012: “the FDA is aware that industry is developing new technologies that consumers could use to self-screen for a particular disease or condition and determine whether a particular medication is appropriate for them. For example, kiosk or other technological aids in pharmacies or on the Internet could lead consumers through an algorithm for a particular drug product. Such an algorithm could consist of a series of questions that help consumers properly self-diagnose certain medical conditions or determine whether specific medication warnings contraindicate their use of a drug product.”
This mobile revolution is only going to grow regardless of what the FDA decides is helpful or not. Because of the wide expansion of programs and devices, the mHealth initiative will be a multi billion dollar field in the next 5 years.
Everything from remote monitoring of chronic illnesses to simply enabling a patient to communicate with a doctor without leaving their home will eventually lead to better outcomes. The utilization of smart phones along with EMRs has truly transformed the healthcare landscape. Mobile technology will continue to direct that change.
Iron Comet Consulting is a Mckesson Platinum certified reseller, medical IT firm and medical billing service based in Stockbridge, Georgia. Our products combine the clinical with the financial to improve workflow and revenue capture. Mckesson’s Medisoft Clinical is a complete physician practice optimization solution. For more information, please visit http://www.ironcomet.com/