- Mobile devices are becoming ubiquitous in healthcare, with 98% of doctors, 97% of nurses and 96% of pharmacists at acute care hospitals saying they expect to use such technologies by 2022, a new Zebra Technologies study finds.
- More than seven in 10 hospitals say IT solutions improve patient care, while 55% cite reduced costs of care. A similar share of nurses credit mobile devices with improving staff communications and 61% report fewer medication administration errors.
- The ability to harness and share data will also improve, with 89% of IT executives expecting mobile devices to send and retrieve predictive analytics and early detection notification for life-threatening conditions.
More than nine in 10 nurse managers see voice recognition and telehealth technologies intensifying over the next five years, while secure text messaging, voice communication and photographing wounds and skin conditions will be nearly universal. Major growth is expected in areas like remote patient monitoring.
Use of real-time location systems is also expected to grow, with 97% of hospitals expected to send workflow notifications via mobile devices by 2022. Major use areas include patient tracking and security, asset tracking and staff operations efficiency.
But challenges remain to use of mobile devices in healthcare — among them, infrastructure, interoperability, input error and clinician burnout.
“Today, only 65% of hospitals have a mobile device policy, with 53% defining specific data requirement and implementing authentication/authorization,” the report says. “By 2020, 42% of hospitals will add asset management/maintenance, mobile device management (MDM), data encryption and remote device wiping.”
Digital health funding hit record highs in 2017, with Rock Health reporting $5.6 billion on about 326 deals by mid-December. That trend is expected to continue to be strong this year. In data analytics, analysts predict a shift from retrospective analysis to solutions that offer viable case use for predictive analytics — an important asset for organizations entering more risk-bearing ACO-type payment models.
Meanwhile, convenience is helping to drive provider adoption of technologies like telehealth. In an American Well survey last year, 20% of consumers said they would switch primary care providers to gain access to telehealth services, up from 17% in 2015. Those most eager for telehealth options were parents of children under 18 years and 35 to 44 year olds.