The Mobile-First Future of Healthcare

By Harjot Sidhu, VP of Consulting Services, Vox Mobile

Mobile technology has transformed the way people communicate and transact business. Disruptive apps like Uber and Square have enabled entrepreneurs to reimagine business models. But some sectors have struggled to integrate mobile capabilities into their daily operations, and as a result, they’ve faced significant barriers to innovation.

Business owners and administrators understand the benefits mobile can bring, including the ability to communicate from anywhere, share data and collaborate effectively. But sometimes organizations get so overwhelmed with trying to manage mobility across multiple platforms and devices that they experience a serious gap — an “m-gap” — that prevents the realization of breakthrough innovation that can vastly improve operations.

The m-gap has been especially acute in the healthcare sector for several reasons, including the need to ensure compliance with HIPAA and address other patient privacy concerns. But with healthcare reform-related incentives to integrate technology into operations and visionary moves on the part of administrators to achieve better outcomes using secure mobile technology, forward-thinking healthcare organizations are starting to close the m-gap.

Closing the M-Gap in Home Health

Home health is an area that is ripe for innovation breakthroughs. Demand is growing as healthcare organizations look to move patients from more costly acute-care settings and comply with patients’ preference to recover at home.  Home health professionals are highly mobile, traveling throughout their regions to deliver care to patients, so using mobile devices to track appointments, document care and check in with the agency is a natural fit.

One home health provider has gained incredible efficiencies — and a major competitive advantage — by closing the m-gap and developing a mobile app embedded in tablets to manage home healthcare delivery. Their field-based workforce carries devices along on care visits and uses it in the field. The app allows home health workers to record time on the job, securely share patient health data, create and track care plans, manage billing and much more.

The home health company was able to eliminate the m-gap by working with an enterprise mobility specialist that was focused on ensuring application success and delivering an exceptional user experience. As a result, the home health provider was able to focus on innovation, developing an app to improve worker safety and productivity while eliminating paperwork and improving employee and patient satisfaction.

Improving Clinical Trials with a Mobile App

The pharmaceutical industry is another sector ready for disruption, and a mobile-first approach can be a key differentiator for companies that overcome the m-gap and innovate. A pharmaceutical company that found a comprehensive enterprise mobility solution to handle the management and infrastructure challenges was able to significantly improve clinical trial response rates with an app that enables patients to record responses digitally.

By providing clinical trial participants with an app, the pharmaceutical company was able to eliminate response delays. The company also contained costs by using WiFi to handle user data consumption that was unrelated to the clinical trial — the type of budget-busting data usage challenge that might have stymied innovation in a company that did not have experts focused on maximizing the user experience and application success.

These are just two examples of how healthcare and life sciences companies are driving innovation through mobile — many other organizations are creating new ways to deliver care and improve communication throughout the healthcare sector. But they all have one common and significant challenge: limited internal resources to close the m-gap, making it impossible to focus on innovation. The future belongs to companies that succeed in the mobile space through innovation, and the path to success in a mobile-first world is to leverage enterprise-grade mobility management services and re-allocate internal resources towards strategic and transformative efforts.

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