Knowledge Expansion

Healthcare mobility trends with the greatest potential to impact patient care in 2019

Insight Article

Business Operations Technology

Patient Care Technology

Rahul Varshneya
The proliferation of mobile devices is bringing about transformative changes in the healthcare industry. According to Zebra Technologies’ hospital vision study, by 2022, 97% of all healthcare workers will depend on mobile devices for remote patient monitoring and patient health tracking to improve upon workplace efficiency and enhance patient care.
 
With 2019 fast approaching, here are the future trends in healthcare mobility that have the greatest potential to help reduce patient readmission rates, improve patient outcomes, and reduce the overall cost of healthcare.
 
 
1. Cloud computing and remote data accessibility
 
Mobile apps that contain secure links to the back end of cloud systems can enable healthcare professionals to access EHRs anywhere, anytime. HIPAA-compliant mobile device management strategies are going to be increasingly adopted by healthcare professionals to ensure maintenance of patient data security and provide access to real-time patient data.
 
The storage of health records on patient devices is another trend that is on the rise. This will give patients control over their data and help them share their previous medical history with healthcare providers smoothly and efficiently.
 
Cloud computing also puts the patient an advantage by facilitating data sharing with experts for consultation purposes. The consultant can remotely view the relevant data on his/her mobile device while on the go and prescribe the recommended treatment using telemedicine.
 
Nurses can also benefit from the arrival of enterprise mobility in healthcare industry. Mobile access to electronic medical records, medical and drug databases, and lab diagnostic results can result in dramatic reduction of time spent at the nurse’s station updating records, thereby  increasing the time spent at patients’ bedsides.
 
 2. Artificial intelligence
 
From voice health assistants for doctors to chatbots for patient interaction, the combination of artificial intelligence (AI) with mobility has many applications in the healthcare segment.
 
AI uses machine learning, natural language processing and automation to deliver faster data processing. Virtual health assistants on mobile phones can help doctors make streamlined decisions by processing real-time data, ensuring more effective diagnosis.
 
Mobility in AI is also advantageous from the patient care point of view. An example of this is AiCure, an AI-based healthcare startup that uses AI to visually confirm medicine ingestion by patients. This smartphone-based, clinically validated platform optimizes patient behavior while reducing risk.
 
The use of chatbots to interact with patients can result in formation of a technology-driven work arena. Basic but time-consuming tasks are handled by the chatbots, leaving humans free to better utilize their time. Chatbot-enabled apps running on patients’ smartphones to ensure compliance with their prescribed drug regimen is something that will become reality in the near future.
 
3. Improved connectivity and data transfer
 
The development of the next generation of mobile internet technology — 5G is well underway and it promises faster internet speeds and more reliable connections via smartphones and other devices. This technological upgrade would also revolutionize the field of telemedicine and connected the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) devices by ensuring seamless connectivity during video consultations and making it possible to quickly share data files.
 
4. Workflow optimization using location tracking
 
Optimal utilization of resources is essential in the healthcare industry, which is already suffering from an acute shortage of resources.
 
Adoption of real-time location services based on smartphone apps or RFID chips can be used to track the location of doctors, nurses, patients, equipment and even supplies. The visualization of can help streamline the delivery of care and optimize the overall workflow within the organization.
 
5. Possible threats and their solutions
 
Data security is one of the biggest threats to the adoption of enterprise mobility in healthcare. Patient data is extremely sensitive and vulnerable to cybersecurity threats. These include:
 
  1. Unsecured communication and misuse of patient data
  2. Malware and Ransomware attacks
  3. Device loss, leading to leaking of sensitive data
  4. Misuse of location tracking services
 
The threat of malware to the company’s network can be neutralized via adaptation of a mobile application management (MAM) solution. It can be used to secure the various mobile applications already downloaded on the user’s device, for identity authentication and to force close any third-party app that interferes with the corporate network. Introduction of two-factor authentication protocols for access to cloud-based applications can significantly increase the security of the cloud network.
 
In case of loss or theft of a device, there needs to be predetermined damage control protocols in place to avoid sensitive data falling in the wrong hands. Installation of file management software and application management solutions can be a way of limiting the damage and regaining the potentially compromised data.
 
The bottom line
Devising a solid plan for the implementation of enterprise mobility management (EMM) solutions is the best way to ensure that you are keeping up with the rapid changes in technology.

About the Author

Rahul Varshneya
President Arkenea

Rahul Varshneya is the co-founder of Arkenea, healthcare app developers that help healthcare entrepreneurs and businesses build experience-rich mobile and web apps. Rahul has been featured as a business technology thought leader in numerous media channels such as Bloomberg TV, Forbes, HuffPost and Inc, among others.

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