Future of Healthcare Access Powered by Mobile Platforms

A recent study entitled, “Future of Healthcare: 2022 Hospital Vision Study” revealed some statistics and trends that are not surprising. For example, the percentage of nurses and physicians using mobile technologies at the patient bedside will rise from 65% in 2018 to 95% in 2020. Another expected finding was the impact of mobile technology on healthcare costs: clinicians, administrators and IT professionals in the hospital expect mobile technologies to reduce the cost of some procedures by as much as 55%.

A more surprising finding in the study focuses on patient acceptance of having access to mobile technologies at the bedside. Seventy-seven percent (77%) of patients in the survey said they approved of physicians and nurses using mobile technologies at the bedside and felt it was likely to improve both outcomes and the care experience.

Adopting mobile technologies will allow physicians and nurses to remain at the bedside longer, which should improve the patient experience as “face time” and “direct communication” contribute to higher ratings in HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) and other patient survey tools. Mobile platforms will also provide benefits such as fast access to medical records and direct connectivity to labs and other areas of a hospital.

This fusing of the physical and digital worlds will make it easier for us to generate and manage power, cross borders, conduct financial transactions, reduce traffic congestion and much more. The impact of mobile technologies and related connectivity in healthcare is astounding. Healthcare data — including medical images — generated from a personal device at the bedside can be shared with colleagues to help clinicians with quality oversight, teaching  and in making better and faster decisions. Images and test results could also be provided to patients at the bedside, which they could better understand their care and participate in relevant care decisions.

Hospital leaders will be inundated with mobile technologies in the coming years. All will require investment and all will require at least modest re-engineering of existing healthcare processes. The key to making profitable and efficacious technology choices will be clinician and patient acceptance. Physicians and nurses are most likely to use mobile technologies that feel familiar — they will prefer devices and apps that look and feel like the digital experiences they have with their banks, news sources or online retailers. Patients are most likely to accept technology that gives them access to a deeper understanding of the care process, more control over key decisions and a care experience that includes more facetime and better communication with clinicians.

These digital, mobile and connectivity realities are driving much of the work we are doing at Vave. The technologies we’re developing are intended to fit these ideals of empowered physicians, better outcomes, lower costs and improved patient experiences.

(1)   Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems