The traditional healthcare model landscape is changing dramatically. Federal healthcare policy, technology advancements, and the need to provide the absolute best care in the most cost-effective manner have driven major shifts in a highly complex and heavily regulated industry.
Patients today want to play a more active role in their care — from choosing who provides it to evaluating the quality of its delivery. Hospitals and healthcare providers are challenged to meet this demand, while still controlling costs and meeting federal regulations. That’s why mobile healthcare — or mHealth — is redefining patient-centric care.
As defined by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Knowledge for Health Project (K4Health), mHealth is “the use of mobile and wireless technologies, such as mobile phones, patient monitoring devices, personal digital assistants, and mobile software applications (apps), to support the achievement of health objectives.”
It allows care providers to combine healthcare delivery with the latest in mobile technology to provide their patients accessible, secure and efficient health solutions.
mHealth opens new ways of providing clinical and critical care that help improve patient experiences. It allows patients to connect with clinical teams and coordinate care with specialists from virtually anywhere, at any time.
For example, a doctor could conduct a house call at a patient’s bedside via live videoconference on a tablet. Or a physician could securely access patient data on a smartphone while on-site at a hospital. Mobility also helps patients track their recovery with remote monitoring tools and follow what the doctor prescribed.
Protecting patients’ private medical and financial information becomes critical, especially as mobile technology continues to play a larger role in healthcare.
According to Verizon’s 2015 Data Breach Investigations Report on Healthcare, 26 percent of security incidents in the healthcare industry were attributed to physical theft and loss of information assets (e.g. mobile devices).
To mitigate these threats, healthcare IT departments can implement a number of counteractive measures.
- Encrypt data to protect information held on devices and make it inaccessible in the event of loss or theft.
- Lock assets down to an immovable fixture or keep them in a secure area to stop someone walking off with them.
- Automate backups to ensure data is backed up regularly and consistently. This will help determine the scope and seriousness of the incident should a loss or theft occur. Using Verizon cloud solutions, healthcare providers can automatically store daily copies of devices for quick recovery.
mHealth solutions, enabled by Verizon’s wireless network, professional services, security, cloud and IoT technologies, can help healthcare providers:
- Improve care delivery models.
- Engage patients in care and treatment programs.
- Increase patient satisfaction.
- Access patient data anytime, virtually anywhere.
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