Mobile technology has looked at times like a tale of two applications – those for the individual and those for the business. Consumers use their smart phones and tablets for nearly every part of their lives – from work to play. Companies leverage the platform to reach more customers and connect employees to clients and one another. But recently, a third market has grown to prominence: the health industry. Increasingly, hospitals and health centers have turned to mobile technology as a means of improving their operations.
Health providers, doctors and patients are on board with mobile devices. Apps have proven their potential to help patients and offices track data and instill good health practices.
Physicians embrace mobile technology
More health clinics are opening their arms to digital technology, according to a recent survey. A report from PwC discovered that 79 percent of physicians and close to half of the public felt the use of mobile technology can help patients and caregivers work as a team, reported PM Live. The same survey also revealed that consultants think the next few years will be crucial for the development of digital health technology.
"The adoption and integration of digital technology with existing healthcare processes has not yet fulfilled its potential to transform care and value for patients," Simon Samaha, principal at PwC, said in the report. "The next five years will be critical, with leaders emerging from those who use digital technology to innovate and revamp the interactions between consumers, providers and payers."
While the technology may not be all the way there yet, many patients and physicians agree that mobile platforms are capable of delivering benefits. Forty-two percent of doctors were comfortable relying on at-home test results as parameters for prescriptions, while half said that online communications could eliminate 10 percent of in-person visits – shortening wait times and delivering more timely care to those who need it the most.
Health care a hot scene for IT companies
If the next few years will determine the fate of digital healthcare as the PwC report suggested, it looks like the technology will reach its lofty expectations, according to Harvard Business Review. New health care IT companies have flooded the U.S. market to find solutions for the lack of productivity and overemployment that have become persistent problems for the industry.
Recently, health care has turned into an attractive destination for IT companies. Small physician offices have embraced off-premises software and adopted more complex platforms for tracking data and streamlining operations. Additionally, health care employment actually grew 7.7 percent during the recession, leading to excessive labor spending, while the Affordable Care Act demanded that high amounts of data on cost and quality be made readily available.
Wages account for 56 percent of all health care spending, so the integration of mobile technology should make employees more efficient and reduce those costly overheads. More importantly, better technology and the transparency it provides can bring patients better care, improve and elucidate care plans, and allow shared decision making between the physician and patient.
As more IT companies enter into the health care fold, the competition generated will reduce inefficiencies and reinforce quality service. Altogether, the industry will become more economical and fluid. Employees can be more productive, doctors can gain access to more clients and better data, patients can receive more timely care and better coverage, and hospitals can increase profits.
Equipment and healthcare industry piece brought to you by Marlin Equipment Finance, leaders in healthcare equipment financing. Marlin is a nationwide provider of equipment financing solutions supporting equipment suppliers and manufacturers in the security, food services, healthcare, information technology, office technology and telecommunications sectors.