Telecommunications has made an impact across several industries offering more efficient and effective solutions for companies to increase their productivity. While all industries are taking advantage of new telecommunication advances and how they can benefit their business models, healthcare is emerging as one of the leading areas where a variety of telecom solutions are being utilized.
The use of smartphones and tablets has dramatically changed the way many individuals and companies are creating and consuming information. A variety of mobile technologies have made a major impact in the healthcare area by increasing the productivity and workflow by having access to all required information at one’s fingertips. Mobile devices support immediate information transfer which can be very beneficial within hospital settings where patient information is transmitted to doctors’ and nurses’ phones or tablets. Mobile applications can be used to support innovative diagnostic techniques, manage patients’ heart rates, provide cloud-based medical imaging, notify a patient when their prescription is ready, and share patient data via monitoring devices.
There is a common concern while dealing with mobile technologies and private healthcare and Personal Health Information (PHI). To allow effective and secure information sharing, healthcare organizations deploy consistent policy for around how this information should be handled and secured. Failure of a device or application to secure healthcare information may raise a red flag for many organizations. Further the possibility of having a device being lost or stolen must be addressed. This concern has been taken into account by many vendors who are beginning to provide secure, private cloud-based solutions. For example, AT&T has joined together with Acuo Technologies to offer a cloud-based medical imaging storage solution to help healthcare companies solve their data storage challenges. The increasing exchange of health information brings new challenges in privacy and security establishing a plan to limit the amount of risks is crucial in providing a secure environment.
Telehealth is also increasing in presence among healthcare professionals The overall goal of telehealth is to delivery healthcare services such as remote monitoring, videoconferencing, digital diagnostics via telecommunications and information technology. This innovation enables remote evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of patients. With the rise in healthcare costs telehealth provides a solution to connect physicians and patients across networks to break down barriers and provide a more connected and affordable solution. Telehealth can provide patients with access to a wider variety of healthcare services especially for patients who may not have easy access to doctors. These services can be customized to support many different uses from small clinics to regional hospital networks. The use of telehealth is becoming more mainstream with the possibilities of customization to serve the needs of healthcare professionals as well as patients.
So what is there to gain out of mobile technology solutions in healthcare? Implementing a mobile technology solution within a healthcare organization can provide many possibilities and benefits. Mobile technology can help bridge the gap that may be preventing timely and efficient patient care such as language barriers, limited time and resources. The expansion of mobile health technologies including health applications, remote monitoring, portable sensors, and health information text messaging will continue to develop and change the way healthcare is currently being delivered. Within the next few years I feel that you will start to recognize the effects of mobile technologies in healthcare settings.