Technology has become an integral part of everyday life.
A study by the Pew Research Center shows that 68% of adults in the U.S. have a smartphone and 45% have a tablet.
Of those who have a mobile device, 90% use it to access the internet.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the healthcare field is jumping on the tech bandwagon.
In fact, data collected by the Healthcare and Information Management Systems Society shows that 83% of physicians say they have used mobile devices in the course of caring for their patients.
What are they being used for?
Doctors are using mobile devices for a variety of reasons:
- Recording patient information
- Look up health information that’s not patient related
- Educating others
- Collecting other data
- Management of electronic medical records
It is expected that the methods of use will continue to grow and will soon become the standard.
Take a look at a few of the advantages associated with the expanding use of mobile devices in the medical field:
- Boost productivity. One of the general benefits of technology in society is the time devices save. For a medical professional, that extra time could potentially be used to see more patients or spend more time with the ones who need it.
- Decrease failure-to-respond rates. The increased speed provided by the use of mobile devices could actually mean the difference between life and death. Raising response rates is a valuable benefit on its own.
- Increase access to information. A mobile device allows a medical professional to have important information right at their fingertips, having a positive effect on the quality of care patients receive.
Specifics of mobile device use
Talking specifics can help to gain a better understanding of just how helpful mobile devices in healthcare can be.
- Holding patients accountable for following treatment and medication directions. It’s nearly impossible for a doctor to make sure his patients are adhering to the directions he has given them. The advent of mobile devices allows reminders to be sent about taking medications, follow-up appointments, and any other direction the patient has been given.
- Simplifying patient access to information. The use of patient portals has helped to streamline the process of scheduling appointments, sharing necessary forms, and relaying non-emergency messages. For example, most people are familiar with the stacks of papers that are required to fill out when only periodically visiting the doctor’s office. The ability to fill out some of these forms online ahead of time can make the process smoother.
- Identifying trends across communities or groups. Having the information of a large group all in one place gives physicians as well as healthcare organizations and federal agencies the ability to pick up on trends occurring in certain groups. For example, having access to electronic information in one database is helpful for counties tracking cases of particular illnesses for a given year.
Some may assume that the majority of support for these types of technologies is coming from tech companies or those who sell such devices.
The truth is, many healthcare organizations are in favor of implementing more technology, as long as the quality of care isn’t diminished.
As time goes on and mobile technology advances, expect to see more promising changes that can improve healthcare for patients and providers.