Are decision makers in the healthcare field ready to invest in and adopt the new mobile devices and technology that will link them to patients and other healthcare providers in the future?
It’s no surprise that mobile health (mHealth) seemed to be the keywords at this year’s Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) 2014 Annual Conference and Exhibition. But are decision makers in the healthcare field ready to invest in and adopt the new mobile devices and technology that will link them to patients and other healthcare providers in the future?
Though more than 80% of clinicians use either a laptop or workstation on wheels as a mobile device, cost seems to be a barrier to many organizations continuing their growth in the mHealth field, according to the 3rd Annual HIMSS Analytics Mobile Technology Survey. Nearly 56% of respondents point to lack of funding and budget as a reason they aren’t adopting mobile technology. Forty-one percent of respondents say immaturity of vendors on the market is a barrier, and almost 40% believe there are limited incentives for usage.
Experts agree that tablets will continue to see growth in the healthcare field, but only 43% of survey respondents have plans to provide additional resources to clinicians in the future. Of those who report making health IT purchases, 63% say they want tablet computers specifically designed for healthcare.
A majority of clinicians (77%) are using third-party mobile apps, while more than half say they use apps developed by their organization’s health IT vendor. Only 32% say that apps are being developed internally. More than half of clinicians agree that apps that monitor chronic conditions for patients are widely available, while those that communicate with electronic health records or portals are least available.
HIMSS Analytics surveyed 170 people who identified themselves as playing a role in their organization’s mobile decision making. Of those surveyed, 26% work at the corporate offices of a healthcare organization, 17% work for a hospital, and 14% worked for a medical practice or ambulatory facility. Of the respondents who work for medical practices, 54% were specialists, while 40% were from a primary care facility.