The Definitive Blog

How to Leverage mHealth

There has been a lot of discussion lately on the topic of mHealth – whether it is how it can aid in patient coordination and care or what companies are investing in this area of health IT (particularly with the recent release of Apple’s iOS 8 and HealthKit), mHealth is a hot topic in healthcare.

A 2012 HIMSS Mobile Technology survey of clinicians shared findings that showed the majority of clinicians surveyed believe that mobile technology will substantially impact healthcare in the future.
Additionally, survey respondents ranked medication reminders, remote patient monitoring and post-acute readmissions, and wellness management as areas that mobile technology can benefit.

One current discussion of the future of mHealth lies in how it may be used to reduce hospital readmissions.  With the start of FY 2015 and higher readmission penalties for healthcare, potential reductions in readmissions is a timely topic.

For reducing readmisisons, mHealth has potential to address gaps in communication across the healthcare delivery system.  A key way to prevent readmissions is to avoid miscommunications and patients not hearing or remembering what instructions are communicated to them during discharge.

The future for the utilization of mHealth in areas such as readmission seems bright, as Visiongain forecasted the mobile health market to reach $6.7 billion in value by the end of the year.

Definitive Healthcare’s intelligence on over 7,400 hospitals and hospital technology infrastructure has records of 1,007 mobile applications being utilized within hospitals.

The latest example of a large predicted mHealth launch was by the Mayo Clinic last week, similar to Apple’s HealthKit,  it will be an iOs 8 integrated health application that provides an overview of patients’ health and fitness data, as reported by VentureBeat.

While all of this looks to the future of health IT with a positive lens, influencers such as Dan Pelino of IBM, still believe that much change needs to happen before mHealth is at the center of health system, reports an article from TechCrunch.

Some proposed ideas to change include “designing jobs and role-specific apps that put critically important data in providers’ hands to improve decision-making and patient care.”

Additionally, mobile security is an important area that needs some reconsidering.

While 68 percent of doctors are using iPhones and 59 percent are using iPads, in order for these devices to be trusted data must be stored in a privacy cloud where sensitive health patient information can be released to only the appropriate authorized providers and patients.
Definitive Healthcare’s hospital database tracks the number of hospital breaches and currently has intelligence on 248 hospitals who have reported data breaches

For more information of what FY 2015 and what the higher readmission penalties entail, see Definitive Healthcare’s article from last week.

October 8, 2014