The connected revolution is the ongoing change in how our devices connect everyone to the world around us. Whether mobile devices or tablets connect a person to other people or other devices, it’s helping people solve problems, improve existing processes and make more of an impact in their prospective industries.
The healthcare industry is in the process of widespread changes at the moment due to the impact of the connected revolution. Both healthcare facilities and professionals utilize a variety of tools to help perform their everyday duties, which are now connecting with apps on mobile devices and tablets to offer more utility to service providers and patients alike.
According to the 2nd Annual HIMSS Mobile Technology Survey released in December, the percentage of medical professionals using apps to actively engage in direct patient care has grown in the past year in several key areas, including: collecting data at the bedside (45% compared to 30%); using bar code readers on mobile devices (38% compared to 23%); monitoring data from medical devices (34% compared to 27%); and capturing visual representation of patient data (27% compared to 13%).
200+ Companies Surveyed
A survey in 2012 of 200+ healthcare institutions and organizations also confirmed the adoption of mobile devices and the buy-in for the connected ecosystem:
- 44% have enabled physicians to prescribe medications, order exams, and change charts, compared to 15% previously
- 53% have implemented EHR access on mobile devices compared to 18% last year
- 41% use text message reminders, compared to 24% in the previous survey
- 29% use wireless monitoring technologies, compared to 15% previously
The global mobile healthcare market is estimated to be valued at $6.6 billion this year and is expected to reach $20.7 billion by 2018. Connected devices bring in about 80% of the revenue in 2013, as compared to medical apps.
Connected devices are broken up into different categories like multi-parameter trackers, cardiac monitoring, diabetes management devices and other devices like sleep apnea devices, and respiratory monitors, all of which can be synced with the connected ecosystem.
Connected cardiac monitoring devices are the most profitable and useful devices in the market, followed by diabetes management devices, and multi-parameter trackers. The highest growth will be witnessed by the diabetes management devices due to the increasing global needs of the diabetes population as a whole.
It’s extremely obvious that the healthcare industry will continue to transform the way in which medical professionals interact with patients and vice versa. This change will continue to impact more areas of medicine at a quicker pace with every passing year. It’s time to start understanding how this will affect your work as a healthcare professional and how the medical facility you work at will evolve.
Here’s how the medical industry is impacted by the start of the connected revolution:
1. Increased Patient Safety:
With the development of apps for mobile devices that help to better synch the information and tools used at medical facilities, patients are able to help manage aspects of their own health more effectively and therefore, be much safer.
Patients will continue to have more access to medical information to better understand their own health, warning signs of different ailments and access to your complete medical history from your phone.
By ensuring all records and paperwork is done digitally, patients will have a more clear understanding of what their medical needs are, what documentation they need to complete after a visit to a physician or a hospital, what to take note of in regards to their health and more, all from the convenience of their app synced with the information and systems at a medical facility.
When each patient has a clearer understanding of their own medical conditions, when to seek treatment and how to handle their health from the information on a mobile device, they are a more healthy person than they were before having access to this knowledge and understanding of how to use it to be safe.
These devices will also synch more effectively to ensure that patients are properly monitored over time from the hospital bed, from home, at the doctor’s office or wherever they may be. This is important because if something were to go wrong, these devices will alert the proper medical professional to ensure they can provide the best services possible as soon as possible. This technology for monitoring patients has existed for years, but now it is more robust and efficient with this added layer of functionality.
2. Reduced Medicare Fraud:
It is estimated that there is $60 billion dollars in Medicare fraud every year. By connecting all the systems and tools already in place for filing claims, billing and patient history related to Medicare, it’ll be easier to prevent and detect fraud.
By setting up a fraud detection and prevention system that lives across the different devices medical professionals use on a regular basis, as well as patients, it can help save money, time and the effort of both medical professionals and the larger community as a whole.
These apps can sync with existing medical tools to track all Medicare transactions in real time to ensure they are accurate and occurring with all the proper permissions inline with pre-existing procedures. Increasing the speed at which fraud is detected can help ensure that individuals are identified and money is returned to the right person before it is too late.
The time and money saved by these efforts can go towards finding more creative ways to reduce the cost of Medicare and improve patient health overall.
3. New Revenue Generators:
When a mobile phone or tablet is connected with other medical devices in a healthcare facility it creates a new source of data to interpret about the functions of these tools and how their use is beneficial. The new sensors and devices created within this connected ecosystem will generate more data than ever before.
With this medical data eventually comes the need for data analysis and management, which creates new companies and service providers offering to manage this influx of data brought about from the connected revolution. Service providers and medical facilities can utilize this data and offer it for sale to others, bringing in additional income.
Obviously, this wouldn’t be patient specific information, but anonymous data to help shine light in patterns of usage and the success rate for different tools, systems and other medical technologies when it comes to treating patients.
Lastly, this vast amount of data will continue to be helpful when it comes to creating new apps and devices for healthcare purposes that are better informed due to this new source of information.
The more actionable data that can be pulled from a medical procedure the better, offering deep insights on how the process can be improved to be more beneficial to patients and healthcare professionals alike.
4. Improved Patient Interaction:
The ecosystem of connected devices has already improved patient’s interactions with medical professionals and facilities and will continue to do so for the future. Today appointments and referrals can be found and booked through many different app offerings that both the patient and healthcare facility have access to across devices.
This takes a lot of the hassle of booking appointments with a healthcare provider for patients and finding the right referral to offer your patient as a medical professional. This ecosystem of accessible information helps everyone save time and avoid frustrations, which leads to a more effective interaction for both the patient and healthcare provider.
These apps can integrate with every part of many different medical processes like getting prescribed medication, which can all be documented and completed via an app.
This way the medical professional can send through the approved prescription, the patient can review and send this prescription order to the pharmacy of their choice and then be alerted as to when their prescription is ready to be picked up. This can streamline the process allowing for better service and more accuracy when it comes to providing the service to patients.
5. Accessibility of Care:
The connected revolution will successfully help make healthcare more accessible for everyone across the United States and the world. Many people don’t live in a metropolitan area or have access to a nearby doctor. With the use of the right app or other form of technology that is a connected part of the healthcare ecosystem, services or consultations will eventually take place for patients remotely.
There are many concerns with this approach of course, but on a case by case basis there is certainly instances where this could be the right technique to properly administer services to a patient. Each patient and doctor should decide when it is and isn’t the right to interact remotely and when it is or isn’t time to have an in person consultation.
The consolidation of healthcare information about a patient or larger medical discipline can also help ensure that a patient is well educated about what type of care they have the opportunity to receive, what questions they should be asking and an understanding of their medical history and how it may conflict with another medical procedure.
This information can quickly be accessed by either the patient or healthcare professional across different devices quickly and easily, giving the patient access to better care than they would typically receive if each person’s time was being spent sorting through paperwork in a binder containing all of the necessary medical information on their medical history.
According to CITE World, healthcare providers remotely monitored 308,000 patients worldwide for congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, hypertension and mental health conditions in 2012. This number will continue to soar as the technology become more readily available and the idea of remote medical care becomes more mainstream for patients across the world.
How do you think the connectivity of devices today will impact healthcare for the future? Share your thoughts and insights in the comments below.
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