Page 2 of 2
Mobility's pervasiveness is creating new demands on healthcare data centers -- given the need for instant connectivity, streaming video and the transfer and sharing of large medical images.
Doctors want to the ability to take a CAT scan image from the hospital's system to their iPad or iPhone simply and seamlessly so that they can travel throughout the hospital with the image. Doctors, nurses and other health payer and provider employees are demanding mobile applications and access to the network, and CIOs must have the back end ready to host such devices.
However, accessing patient data on mobile devices is still a challenge because of security issues and the cost of supporting such devices. "It always seems to be the discussion of the gadget. The gadget is not where the money or difficulty is -- supporting the device is also easy from a technical standpoint. The real issue is the money that's in the back end [network, storage, data centers, virtualization]," said Lundstrom. "We have to grow our mobile platforms to satisfy the gadget demands of the users, and we have to secure information."
Social Media and Unified Communications
Every customer or patient has a voice, and healthcare payer and provider organizations can use social media to hear those voices and use them to bring tremendous value to patient care. The next generation of consumer engagement will leverage consumers' social profiles, according to IDC Health Insights, and should be tapped into as a resource to effect positive health behaviors.
IDC Health Insights asked payer and provider IT executives about their top challenges in using or deploying social media tools and found that executive support, justifying expenses of social software, maintaining and keeping track of all the posted content and getting customers to participate were cited most often.
Forty-two percent of payers and 24 percent of providers said their top challenge is getting executive support -- the fact that these numbers are slightly low compared to the other challenges proves that healthcare organizations understand the need for social media and technology method innovation.
However, regardless of the challenges, social media is a technology that will thrive in the healthcare industry in 2013, according to IDC Health Insights. "Facebook is an 800-million-user social media application platform, and consumer engagement solutions in healthcare will be increasingly mobile and connected to social networking sites like Facebook in the coming year," said Lundstrom.