Though mobile health is seeing increasing adoption across the healthcare industry in the United States, many professionals still consider cost to be a significant barrier when it comes to implementation. Mobile health (also referred to as mHealth) was one of the major topics at the 2014 Annual Conference and Exhibition held by the Health Information and Management Systems Society. Though organizations like the HIMSS are ready to begin implementing mobile healthcare solutions, others in the healthcare field aren’t ready to adopt or invest in these types of technologies, despite the fact that they’ll have the opportunity to link to patients and other healthcare providers in new and significant ways.
Research has indicated that more than 80% of all clinicians and other healthcare professionals in the United States use either a laptop or a traditional workstation on wheels as a mobile device during their daily jobs. According to research obtained in the 3rd annual HIMSS Analytics Mobile Technology Survey, almost 56 percent of every healthcare professional that responded indicated that it was a lack of both funding and an overall budget as the two primary reasons why they have yet to adopt mobile technology.
Additionally, almost 41 percent of everyone who responded to the survey indicated that the general immaturity of mobile health vendors is another barrier. Only 40 percent of everyone who responded said that they believed there were limited incentives for the use of mobile health technologies in general.
Experts in the healthcare industry have all agreed that the use of tablet devices like Apple’s iPad or Samsung’s Galaxy will continue to grow throughout the healthcare field in the years to come. Despite that, only 43 percent of the people who responded to the survey indicated that they had plans to provide these types of additional resources to their associated clinicians. Of everyone who responded to the survey who is responsible for purchasing information technology purchases in the healthcare field, over 60 percent of them said that they would rather tablet devices be designed specifically for use with healthcare.
An overwhelming majority of the clinicians that responded to the survey said that they use third-party mobile applications on a daily basis, while more than half indicated that they were using applications specifically designed by the information technology vender that was associated with their organization. A scant 32 percent indicated that they were developing their own apps on an internal basis. Of the types of apps that are readily available, clinicians agree that those that monitored chronic conditions for patients were very popular. Among those that were least popular were ones that communicate with electronic portals or health records.
Mobile health solutions have the potential to revolutionize the healthcare industry by seamlessly integrating with medical billing software. With mobile solutions, physicians could properly take consumer healthcare information and process billing on a mobile basis. This would make the process of medical billing significantly easier as the healthcare provider would have a wider variety of billing options. Mobile medical billing solutions and applications could easily be installed on portable tablet devices like the iPad, or even smaller devices like a smartphone used for work purposes. This would enable healthcare providers to take payment for services rendered while traveling, for example, or while otherwise out of their home office.
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