It doesn’t take an in-depth look at the healthcare industry today to observe a large increase in application and implementation of various technologies. From robotic surgical arms to a tablet device utilized in virtually every doctor’s visit to capture patient health data in real time, there’s no question that technology is becoming deeply entrenched in how healthcare is administered. This can create a number of substantial benefits for both patients and for medical professionals alike.
One of the largest categories of technological implementation in healthcare is that of mobile technology, or the ways that mobile smart devices and similar can be used to propel patient care. Here are a few ways that mobile technology is changing the game for healthcare provision and the patient experience.
Reason One: Mobile Technology Can Make Patient Care More Efficient Through Automation
Providing adequate patient care includes countless tasks and operations that are routine and repeated. Actions like taking vital signs, distributing medications, providing basic subsistence care, and more might be performed thousands of times a day even just in a single large hospital. Completing these types of tasks can prove of the most labor-intensive parts of the healthcare system.
Nurses and other medical personnel who are responsible for completing these care tasks fulfill complex, demanding roles and are often overworked. Much of their time is spent on menial tasks that could be assisted by automation techniques made possible by various technologies. Mobile technology can provide one type of solution. This might look like using device reminders to prompt medications, measuring vital signs via devices that patients can operate themselves, or self-serve prescription and fulfillment services that can make medical professionals’ lives easier and automate parts of their jobs so they can concentrate on more hands-on and meaningful care activities.
Reason Two: Mobile Technology Offers New Channels of Communication
With the rise of mobile technologies came vastly increased abilities to connect people together. The healthcare provision landscape has utilized this ability in multiple ways. This can be particularly evident in the way telehealth offerings have developed over the past 3-5 years. Telehealth utilization has skyrocketed over the past half-decade and has provided a means for countless individuals to take advantage of healthcare services in places or situations that might have otherwise significantly hampered their ability to access care.
However, telehealth isn’t the only way in which mobile technology has changed communication within the healthcare provision landscape. Medical service providers are now able to provide more personalized and more timely information than ever before via newsletters, apps, push notifications, and tools that share information via SMS messages and social media platforms. These types of communications can be much more timely than more traditional forms of communication like relying on post or phone calls and can prove much more effective in reaching and educating their patients.
Reason Three: Mobile Technology Can Help Medical Personnel Provide Better Care
A number of medical mobile apps and other mobile technology resources for medical professionals have become significant aids for healthcare providers in the past decade. These mobile technology applications and references allow medical professionals to access pertinent databases, references, and knowledge bases instantly from their mobile devices or tablets.
These kinds of apps can range from medical term glossaries and dictionaries to research journals, drug incompatibility checkers, and best practice guides. They make sources that would have previously needed to be memorized, kept in printed form on the premises, or accessed via a desktop computer available instantly and completely portably. Making references like these portable and immediately available can help medical personnel serve their patients much more effectively, as well as help avoid costly or even dangerous mistakes that might have been made otherwise by medical providers that relied on their best guesses or faulty remembrances. They have fundamentally changed how medical staff stay informed, make decisions, and access the help they need to make the best diagnoses possible for their patients.
Similarly, there are a number of apps available today that provide other types of assistance and support for medical personnel. These range from mindfulness apps to nursing shift schedulers, personal care apps, and more. Offerings like these can help medical professionals that are overworked and would otherwise operate in danger of making stress- or exhaustion-induced mistakes.
Reason Four: Mobile Technology Can Capture Medical Information Using Personal Devices
As mobile technology becomes more sophisticated, even personal devices such as smartphones, smartwatches, and fitbits can capture various biological metrics (and at increasingly high levels of accuracy) that would have been unheard of even five years ago. Blood pressure, pulse and average heart rate, sleep quality, activity levels, hormonal disruptions, diet profiles, and more can now be easily tracked by devices the average person likely owns.
While some of this information could be more easily and perhaps more authoritatively collected by industry-quality machinery, the advantage that collecting this information via an individual’s mobile device offers is its constancy and longevity. Rather than a medical professional having only a single reading to work with or requiring a patient to come to a doctor’s office daily or weekly to have readings taken for a period of time to make a diagnosis possible, mobile devices can provide volumes of information – sometimes months or even years of real-time tracking – at a moment’s notice. This information can provide medical personnel with insights that wouldn’t have been possible before the advent of mobile technology’s ubiquity.
Reason Five: Mobile Technology Enables More Efficient and Effective Care from Start to Finish
These various aspects of mobile technologies and the ways they can improve patient care can sometimes seem inconsequential on their own. However, the net value and effect they can have on the patient care experience as a whole is proving massive and industry-changing. Utilizing the power of mobile technologies in the process of patient care can greatly reduce monetary and time costs both for the patient and for the provider. It can increase the accuracy of diagnoses. It can streamline the care process and provide a better overall patient experience. It can cut down on costly mistakes and delays. And it can streamline and automate time-consuming processes so that the patient and the provider can both concentrate on the things that are much more important.
Mobile technology is quickly making itself a core element of service provision across a range of healthcare service provision types. It has changed how patient care looks in a variety of ways. As mobile technologies and components continue to develop, this trend will likely only increase in the coming years.
Author: Sarah Daren
With a Bachelor’s in Health Science along with an MBA, Sarah Daren has a wealth of knowledge within both the health and business sectors. Her expertise in scaling and identifying ways tech can improve the lives of others has led Sarah to be a consultant for a number of startup businesses, most prominently in the wellness industry, wearable technology and health education. She implements her health knowledge into every aspect of her life with a focus on making America a healthier and safer place for future generations to come.