Mobile Health: What is the Holdup?
Pablo Rivera Jr.
Army- Baylor Graduate Program in Health and Business Administration August 21, 2012
In today’s world, the era of innovation is growing at a fierce pace; without limitations information technology can prove to be as harmful as it is helpful. This is especially applicable to the healthcare industry. The idea of paperless files is the way of doing business in the future. However, papers containing life and death implications such as medical records have been a hot topic for close to a decade. Even though, the American population may be ready for it, there are multiple regulatory guidance at the federal level, which must be addressed such as security and patient confidentiality. Currently mobile (m) health is the current trend for patients to access their healthcare needs. The public and private sectors are competing for their share of the market when it comes to mHealth. This paper discusses two healthcare organizations leading in this effort, the Veterans Affairs and Sentara. Key words: Electronic (e) Health, Mobile (m) Health, personal health record (PHR)
Mobile Health: What is the Holdup?
The internet coupled with mobile technology era is pushing our demand for information to be readily available in the palm of our hands. This mentality is affecting all industries of the U.S. to include the healthcare industry. This paper will explore and evaluate innovative uses of mobile (m) Health and emerging technologies to build synergistic mediums in the healthcare industry. MHealth is a progressive topic pushing the limits on how to access healthcare going forward. There are many factors for the drive of mHealth initiative due to the affects by healthcare stakeholders. An overview of the mHealth initiative will be discussed as it applies to government policy and regulatory agencies, the healthcare network today and future demands, as well as leading hospitals in the mHealth revolution. Mobile health, commonly known as mHealth is ‘the use of wireless communication devices to support public health and clinical practice (Barton, 2012). Mobile devices are handheld in nature and include mobile phones, personal digital assistants, patient monitoring devices, and other wireless devices. The Internet has introduced us to electronic (e) health, which influences the delivery of healthcare. Subsequently, mHealth applications are receiving increased attention largely due to the global penetration of mobile technologies. Mobile technology will offer patients the ability to remotely evaluate, access, and monitor their electronic health record (EHR). The EHR is gradually replacing the paper medical records with electronically stored information using information technology (IT) applications (Shi & Singh, 2012). These two mediums of health information exchange are emerging rapidly, but at different rates. The challenge for the healthcare community is meeting the EHR and mHealth government requirements during implementation stages in order to meet the demand of the patients, doctors, and insurance companies. Americans have a much higher expectation when it comes to medical technology; if it is available; they want it and are willing to pay for it (Shi & Singh, 2012). Government Strategy
The public sector has gone mobile, and experts say the government should redouble its efforts to become mobile-friendly. The current administration is pushing for a mobile government. In May 2012, the Office of Management and Budget released the “Digital Government: Building a 21st Century Platform to Better Serve the American People” strategy. It requires agencies to convert priority citizen services to a mobile platform in the next year (Weigelt, 2012). So where does this apply to healthcare organizations across the country? The answer would be simpler if healthcare fell under the government’s role such as in a national health system (NHS), national health...
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