What will drive mobile adoption in Healthcare?

The penetration of mHealth Technologies has been quite significant in areas like vital signs monitoring, health tracking and telemonitoring. There are enough indications to suggest that patient centric care, which is going to be the focus of the healthcare industry moving forward, will have mobile technology playing a huge part in it. However, certain important things will have to be kept in mind so as to follow the right approaches while rolling out initiatives. For example it is common place to assume that a certain breakthrough in technology will automatically get people to adapt their behavior so as to derive benefits from using it. The reality is more often than not far removed. We see that happening in health IT as well. It has been observed that more than 80% of the mHealth apps which get made are not used beyond a month. The main reason for this is that they were never designed at the first place keeping patient in mind. Design plays a very important role here. Generally good design takes in to account human factors and thus easily motivates them to use the apps. Also another thing to be kept in mind is that no matter how well designed they might be, mHealth apps cannot operate in isolation. If they are to be successful, they will need to be integrated in the workflows and made part of the care delivery system of healthcare setups. Only then would it lead to an increase in their acceptance and usage.

healthcare mobile app development, healthcare it services, healthcare software testersThe ubiquitous use of smartphones and mobiles has brought in a huge shift in the lifestyles of people. Healthcare being an intrinsic part of our lives is expected to undergo changes as a result of this. Thus, there is an overwhelming demand from people to gain access to their health data over their handheld devices and use apps which get them to participate in their healthcare across all important settings, namely staffed beds, face-to-face, in-home and virtual. Meaningful Use has different connotations for providers and patients. For the former, it means doing things which will result in providing quality and effective healthcare in a cost effective manner. The rewards for achieving it are in the form of incentives. For the later however, there is no need for incentives to use technology. All they want is something useful, something which would seamless merge into their lives offering enhanced convenience and value and not require them to make a lot of changes to accommodate it. This is where providers can also help but leveraging the data explosion from Meaningful Use to make sense for their patients.

There is also this section of people from the industry who are keen on giving the use of mobile technology in Healthcare a bit of more time before jumping onto any conclusions related to its benefits. These are industry veterans and have seen many such interventions in the past which were reckoned as path breaking but ended up falling miserably short of expectations in terms of actual benefits; in the case of a few the outcomes were even detrimental. One such expert feels that there is potential of mobile technology helping two broad areas i.e. management of chronic diseases and diagnosis of acute illness. Besides the obvious benefits, it will eventually result in reducing the number of unnecessary visits of patients to physicians and increasing convenience tremendously. Thus, moving forward the aim is to reach a stage where hospitals would be needed only for intensive care, operating rooms and pre- and post-operation recovery purposes. Indirectly it would also go a long way in reducing the risk of infections resulting out of frequent visits to hospitals. Finally, the success of mHealth depends a lot on how evidence gets validated over the next few years on its effectiveness. Because it is new age it does not necessarily have to be the correct or define the future. Rather than illusions, it will require those hard found facts, collected over a reasonably long period of time, to propel its acceptance and eventual success. Also, a certain degree of regulations will need to be in place to avoid some well-intended apps and devices ending up being dangerous. Healthcare mobile app development teams can help you build projects within allocated budgets and time schedules.

We provide healthcare it services. If you would like to get your application tested by our certified healthcare software testers, please contact us at Mindfire Solutions.


Concerns around Meaningful Use Implementation

If one were to dig down and understand the real intent of implementing EHR and meet Meaningful Use criteria, it would be nothing but to achieve improved outcomes, better efficiencies and lesser healthcare costs. The healthcare delivery mechanism is expected to become much better as a result of this. However, somehow the focus seems to be revolving more around evaluating healthcare setups to determine their incentive payment eligibility, based on Meaningful Usage, rather than understanding the core issues which stand in the way of its implementation. In its current state, it is becoming more and more difficult for hospitals with limited resources to attain MU eligibility. The ones who fall into this category include smaller critical access hospitals and community health centers which generally treat patients with lower income and are more often than not uninsured. Although they seem to be using EHRs which are in some shape, it is in attaining MU certification where they seem to be falling short – primarily due to lack of availability of resources to invest, low patient volume and difficulty recruiting qualified IT personnel .On the contrary, the bigger hospitals with deeper pockets and superior resource access seem to be having a better ratio of eligibility.

healthcare software development, healthcare testing services, healthcare software testersThe matter is likely to get worse when eventually hospitals start getting penalized after a few years. It will result in job losses of physicians and hospitalists employed by the smaller setups. This will ultimately lead to the whole purpose of implementing MU EHRs going for a toss. At the current rate of progress, it will be the patients who will suffer at the end of the day. This consequence was not preempted before the roll out started and hence some short-terms solutions are being suggested in order to handle the situation. For e.g. extending the last date for stage 2 implementation is one such option. The other one being mooted is that of the extending help to the struggling medical setups to expedite the process of full implementation of EHRs. Without concrete steps it would not be possible for the government to reach the stage it envisages to i.e. that of sharing patient data across providers and have clinical information following patients wherever they receive care.

One of the major stumbling blocks while attempting to qualify for the incentive program is that of meeting the requirement for computerized provider order entry. This issue seems to be more pronounced in the cases of hospitals which have failed to qualify for the incentive. It is not just the technical gaps but also the cultural and organizational ones which contribute to it. For the setups which achieved MU, the concerns hovered more on the technical front; related more towards providing patients secure and easy access to their data , identifying the factors that contribute towards the calculation of the quality measures and generating the data for the same. In a broad sense though, all this has cast a shadow on the pace at which Health IT adoption was expected to pick up and given its detractors an opportunity to hit back. Meaningful stage 2 adoption seems to be bane of many such groups. One such feels that there is not enough time available to validate the e- measures and so just implementing the software in practices will not necessarily mean that the objectives will be met automatically. Also, not every measure is of equal importance or value to every practice. For the physicians which have successfully completed stage 1, vendor readiness is posing a problem .Without the appropriate software updates and required support, Physicians will be unable to meet the Stage 2 requirements and get penalized without apparently any mistake from their end.

The general consensus is thus on extending the date for Stage 2 implementation by a year to avoid outstripping the capacities of vendors and physicians and risking complete derailment of the overall Health IT adoption process. This will allow the some exemplary practices to successfully implement Stage 2 requirements by 2014 and share their experiences and learning with vendors and providers for faster and efficient adoption at a broad scale subsequently. Healthcare software development teams can help you build projects within allocated budgets and time schedules.

We provide healthcare testing services. If you would like to get your application tested by our certified healthcare software testers, please contact us at Mindfire Solutions.