Mobile Technology and Healthcare

A recent white paper by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) sheds some light on how the role of mobile technology in health care is changing.

Power to the Patient: How mobile technology is transforming healthcare examines how mobile technologies are being used in healthcare around the globe. To do this, the EIU conducted a survey of 144 healthcare leaders in 23 countries, including those who work in the public and private sectors in healthcare, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and medical devices.

The study addresses the potential that mobile health technologies have for transforming the way healthcare is administered:

 “Most executives surveyed (64%) believe that the ability of new mobile technologies and services to provide greater patient access to medical information ‘could dramatically improve health outcomes.’ A similar proportion (63%) also predicts that ‘greater patient access to their personal data will allow people to make better decisions about their health.’ ”

The study respondents also said mHealth could reduce medical costs for individuals (24%), offer more effective ways to prevent epidemics and pandemics (20%) and lower costs for institutions (17%).

Barriers that remain to the adoption of mHealth technology include ease of use and security of personal information. More than half of those surveyed (54%) were concerned people would have difficulty using the new technology, and 49% thought people would be concerned about whether their personal data would be secure. Interestingly, the latter number increased to 65% among respondents from North America.

Another finding in the study was that respondents see the role of mHealth technologies evolving over the next five years. According to 79% of those surveyed, mHealth technology’s main role today is providing information and education. When asked what that role would be five years from now, the top three benefits were listed as “enabling patients to participate proactively in their care” (50%), “reducing the cost of healthcare delivery” (50%), and “improving personal awareness through self-monitoring” (29%). Only 11% said education.

See the full report here.





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