Given the ever-present evolution of the use of mobile devices to connect patients and providers to their care, or the practice of care, it’s no wonder that the concept of mHealth is, and will be, a major driver in healthcare. Patients – the consumers of healthcare, are the driver behind the movement, which is leading another movement in healthcare – the consumerization of healthcare.
Since mobile health is now more than a $1.3 billion industry and it’s expected to grow to more than $20 billion by 2018. For physicians, smartphones are the most prominent device in the care setting, and it’s estimated that more than 62 percent of doctors use tablets while more than 72 percent of nurses and other caregivers use smartphones in the care setting. From a patient perspective, almost every person in the US – 247 million – have downloaded a healthcare app for their personal use. There are more than 40,000 apps available for use by patients.
Physician use of devices will increase alongside consumers for the foreseeable future. Top uses for smartphones by those in healthcare are using generic search functions (46 percent), accessing professional resources (38 percent) and communicating with colleagues (38 percent). Top uses for tablets among clinicians are editing or viewing electronic health records or e-prescribing (49 percent), using generic search functions (39 percent) and accessing a professional resource (24 percent).
According to Becker’s Hospital Review, by 2016 a majority of consumers expect mHealth to significantly change their healthcare experience. For example:
- 59 percent said mHealth will change how information on health issues is found
- 51 percent said mHealth will change how providers or services send general healthcare information
- 49 percent said mHealth will change their overall health management
- 48 percent said mHealth would change how they manage chronic conditions
- 48 percent said mHealth would change how they communicate with providers
- 52 percent said mHealth would make healthcare more convenient
- 48 percent said mHealth will improve healthcare quality
- 46 percent said mHealth will substantially reduce healthcare costs
It’s safe to say that the technology, for either side – patients and physicians – the mobile devices are becoming indispensable. Even though we’re still in the relatively early days of a more connected system, much more is yet to come, according to Axial Exchange.
- More than 25 percent of commercially-insured patients use mobile apps to manage their health.
- 30 million wearable health devices were shipped in 2012, a 37 percent increase over 2011.
- 75 million US adults used their mobile devices to access health information in 2012, up from 61 million in 2011.
- 29 percent of US adults own a tablet or an eReader, up from 2 percent in 2009.
- More than half of tablet users 55 or older use tablets for health purposes.
- 13 percent of 2012 global Internet traffic came from mobile devices, up from 1 percent in 2009.
- 64 percent of mobile phone time is spent on apps.
- 13 percent of health systems plan to offer their patients an app in 2014.
Finally, strategy& (formerly Booz & Company), presents some compelling information about the effects of mhealth technology in the actual practice of medicine. If for no reason, the following numbers suggest the power of the technology in the care setting, and explain perhaps, why if practice technology is being slow to be implemented in the care setting, this may not be the case for those providing the care.
According strategy&, the following stats seem to paint a rosy picture for those venturing forward in health It:
Here are six statistics on the ever-growing use of mHealth, compiled and presented by Booz & Company.
1. Physicians are 250 percent more likely to own a tablet than other consumers.
2. Forty percent of physicians said tablets help cut down time spent on administrative tasks.
3. The number of nurses and physicians using smartphones in their everyday practices increased by 10 percent in the last year, from 78 percent in 2012 to 86 percent in 2013.
4. There are more than 10,000 medical apps available for consumers, but only 28 percent of smartphone users and 18 percent of tablet users report being “very satisfied” with the quality of the apps.
5. Eighty-eight percent of physicians want patients to monitor their health at home, including weight, blood sugar and vitals.
6. Approximately half of patients, 52 percent, said they would be comfortable undergoing a video consultation with their physician.