Mobile Technology Use Growing in Healthcare Industry

Use of mobile technologies in healthcare is up, including the use of apps, which grew 14% over the last year, according to a survey from HIMSS Analytics.

The use of mobile products in healthcare settings is only growing, but many organizations still need to develop a legal mobile technology plan, according to 170 healthcare IT and clinical personnel who were surveyed as part of the 3rd Annual HIMSS Analytics Mobile Survey found.

Almost all of the survey participants reported supplying mobile technology to clinicians, most often in the form of laptops and workstations on wheels. The survey expects to see use of tablet computers rise in the future. Most of the respondents (83%) reported physicians use mobile technology to provide patient care. However, clinicians are also most likely to use mobile technology to look up patient information or look up non-personal health information.

“We recognize the growing importance of mobile technologies and its impact to transform the delivery of patient care,” David Collins, senior director of mHIMSS, said in a statement. “The Survey reflects mobile technology as a transformational tool, as demonstrated by nearly all of the respondents supplying mobile technology to clinicians.”

For the second consecutive year, pharmacy management topped participants’ lists as the most likely use of mobile technologies, including medication reminders or medication reconciliation.

The survey also revealed that 33% of participants offer apps for patient and/or consumer use, which is an increase of 14% from a year ago. Apps are primarily developed by third-party vendors, with more than half of participants indicating they would expand the use of their apps in the future.

Apps used include patient portals, telehealth services, and remote-monitoring devices. However, only half formally measure the return on investment related to their mobile technology investments.

The most widespread security measure in place is the use of a password, and 95% of respondents said there is at least 1 security measure in place on mobile devices.