With the global healthcare mobility solutions market expected to reach US$ 272,054 million by 2027, healthcare professionals across the board — from urgent care and ambulatory providers to pet clinics using cutting-edge veterinary technology — are going mobile, even taking out loans to implement the new technology. What’s behind this drive for enterprise mobility solutions for healthcare, and why now?
The benefits of mobile health apps and increased mobile health (mHealth) device usage include increased quality of care, better outcomes for patients, and positive ROI (often above 2:1) — all of which are now consistently achieved through the real-time reporting and advanced machine-learning widely available in today’s market.
Furthermore, the Covid-19 pandemic accelerated the path to digital transformation as both patients and providers sought ways to access and deliver healthcare safely; according to Bloomberg Intelligence, based on the shifts in consumer behavior and proliferation of virtual primary-care offerings coming to market, Telehealth care could reach 15% of total outpatient visits by 2027. This projected growth evidences the adoption of virtual and digital healthcare beyond the pandemic.
Even though the healthcare industry lags behind others in enterprise mobility, many individual organizations have seen the writing on the wall and are starting to come around:
These same digital mobility solutions for healthcare have been shown to drive down costs in care management programs, offering a 10% to 20% decrease in administrative costs. Some companies using these types of mHealth mobility devices with predictive analytics have seen a 25% to 30% reduction in emergency department (ED) visits, while others have been able to identify patients with a higher risk for non-compliance and develop intervention programs to get them back on track before an ED visit is necessary.
The latter success was achieved during a study on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients by using two types of advanced analytics:
Taken separately, these two types of analytics could only observe the high costs of treatment in real time or predict which types of patients could incur high costs at a later date. But when data from the two is run through a digital solution, such as a fast-reporting mobile health app with machine-learning capabilities, providers can adjust their care management programs accordingly to achieve better patient outcomes and potentially lower costs in the process by eliminating trial and error.
In the COPD study, these types of analytics were used to identify nonadherence to medication, both past and present, as a strong predictor of ED visits in the future — visits that could be avoided. Machine-learning algorithms analyzed data to segment and prioritize patients based on how likely they would be to change their behavior. This would both improve their health and lower their risk of a high-cost event.
The key indicator for intervention turned out to be patients who were consistent in filling their medications at first but then stopped refills for approximately three months. This behavior highly correlated with a future event that required a trip to the ED. Doctors and analysts were able to use this information to design a program for intervention that could prevent ED visits.
The intervention programs for the at-risk patients were implemented via various forms of mobility solutions. This delivery model was found to be preferential by patients and optimal for engagement and success. mHealth solutions allow for a wide variety of means of communication including calls, mobile health app notifications, videos, texts and emails. Each communication could further be monitored to see which was most successful in prompting a change in behavior by the patient.
For example, some patients preferred video chats while others responded best to a visiting nurse — understanding which care module has a higher rate of success for individual patients can save time and money while simultaneously improving patient health outcomes. Known as A/B testing across many other industries, this ROI- and performance-boosting technique is now more accessible at the caregiver level thanks to mobility solutions for healthcare.
The benefits of mobility solutions for healthcare organizations are vast and work for just about every aspect of caregiving:
There are a number of other reasons why Florida healthcare organizations should seriously consider adding mobile solutions and smartphone services to their operations, all of which go beyond the regular benefits of mobile enterprise.
1. Florida ranks 5th in the nation for broadband coverage - a remarkably high number in compared to other states.
2. Florida has a faster average download speed (around 167.8 Mbps), surpassing Rhode Island, the 4th-best broadband ranking in the US. Larger Florida cities like Fort Lauderdale, Miami and Jacksonville have the fastest download speed NATIONWIDE OR IN FLORIDA?. With fast, reliable speeds like these, healthcare professionals in the field can provide instant mobile billing services, attain document signatures, order medications and procedures, access invoices, and perform other services that were previously unavailable when working remotely.
3. Florida is filled with some of the best hospitals and minds in the healthcare industry, making it a fertile breeding ground for mobile advancements. For example, doctors at the Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children developed a Snapchat-like mobile health app that lets surgical teams communicate with family members during surgery. The EASE (Electronic Services to Surgical Events) app allows the operating room (OR) team to send secure texts, pictures and videos to family members before, during and after a surgical procedure to lower anxiety in the waiting room.
In fact, EASE has been such a success that clinical teams in preop, post-anesthesia care units, NICU, ICU and the medical floor are now using it. EASE is currently in more than 35 hospitals, thanks to the app’s ability to boost Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) and Press Ganey scores — including a 4.3% increase in the likelihood a patient or family would recommend the hospital. Floridian innovators obviously have a lot to offer the mHealth industry.
And that’s just the start of what Florida healthcare providers can do with the right mobility solutions on their side. Going mobile isn’t just about giving an organization a competitive edge through increased ROI and patient approval — it’s about the benefits of mobile health apps and providing enterprise mobility solutions for healthcare that improve quality of care and physician performance, making any investment you put into mHealth a potential lifesaver.
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