Mobile Tech Makes Inroads In Health Care

Central to the findings is the fact that most of the necessary infrastructure is already in place: 7.4 billion mobile subscriptions are projected by 2015. In addition, the study found that the technological capability already exists to improve collaboration and reduce costs. Further, the study found that the smartphone is the most popular technology since the stethoscope.

[Related: Report: Impact Of Mobile Devices On Business Could Equal That Of Early Internet]

“Mobile technology can improve the delivery of care for both patients and clinicians. Deploying smartphones and tablets with health-care applications more broadly can lead to more informed and better coordinated patient-centric care," said Larry Albert, president of IT solution provider Agilex’ Healthcare Sector business.

"The technology is particularly promising in the treatment of chronic conditions, which is a major cost driver for the U.S. health-care system. As both a health-care provider and payer, the U.S. government has a unique opportunity here to play in taking a leadership role in promoting and supporting the technology’s adoption.”

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The study, "Socio-Economic Impact of mHealth" cited some examples of the 500 mobile health projects it identified.

Among those: a mobile text messaging service in Thailand tracks epidemics; in Bangladesh and Pakistan, the Healthline service that gives patients a simple way to contact health care professionals regarding serious and non-serious medical needs; a project that helps the elderly in Norway contact others in case of emergency via mobile alarm systems.

The research noted that eldercare costs can be reduced by 25 percent through mobility solutions.

One issue that frequently challenges those wanting to pursue a mobile strategy is security. With data hacks prevalent in the news, making health-care information available via mobile technology gives solution providers and security vendors pause.

"Mobile malware threats are continuing to rise and the rising adoption of smartphone devices and tablets have given cyber criminals new avenues to wreak havoc," said Fred Touchette, senior security analyst at AppRiver.

Therefore, the increase in mobile activity will require even more vigilance on the part of systems administrators.