Posted by:Richard Smith April 1st, 2014

Nobody in the healthcare industry needs an introduction to HIMSS. The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society is a nonprofit organization with the goal to promote the best use of information technology in the healthcare industry which held its conference this year in Orlando in February. This conference is held annually each year, wherein industry leaders discuss the latest developments in health IT.

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mHealth is starting to explode onto the forefront of modern healthcare. As evidence, the HIMSS 2014 conference shone a spotlight on mHealth as 1 of 7 key topics this year. The conference focused on two fresh new areas everyone currently is very excited about: mobile health and wearable technology.

Did you know that by the year 2020 the physician shortage will grow to 90,000?  With fewer physicians per individual, mobile technologies are sure to play an even larger role in how healthcare is delivered.

HIMSS for the first time this year came up with the “mHIMSS” roadmap, a strategic framework for providers to implement mobile and wireless technologies.

The Roadmap sections comprise key areas of consideration healthcare organizations should focus on when developing and implementing a mobile strategy within a healthcare organization.

Also included were discussions of the progress made and hurdles that providers face when integrating mobile technologies into their facilities. At the end of the conference, the benefits and hurdles of adopting mobile technologies were identified. While the top benefits to having mobile technologies in the provider facilities were increased access to patient information and the ability to view data from a remote location, limited funding topped the list for barriers.

A summary of some of the notable mHealth trends discussed at HIMSS 2014 is as below:

  1. Healthcare becomes more consumer focused: mHealth has brought about new methods of care and health management that reach the consumer wherever he or she may be – home, office, gym or car.
  2. Securing data in mobilized world: A focus on the problems and pitfalls of protecting personal health information when using mobile devices is of critical importance now that healthcare services are available “on the move”.
  3. Payers are paying attention: Payers are beginning to focus on giving consumers the tools they need to manage their health while cutting wasteful expenditures.
  4. Healthcare industry is catching on wearable technology: Examples range from fitness bands that track vital signs to sensor-embedded clothing which, through connecting technology, links patients to the caregivers and EMRs.
  5. Connected home in line with the concept of connected hospital: mHealth along with Telehealth has brought into existence home based monitoring and social engagement platforms to connect seniors at home with their caregivers.
  6. Working the healthcare apps into everyday lives of consumers: The prevalent theme for HIMSS 2014 was that there has been an ever increasing percentage of healthcare apps that are working their way into the consumer’s life, the acceptance and adoption of which will make mHealth a household name.

In healthcare, it is very critical that technology be used the right way. As we take a look back, mobility has been at the heart of many recent healthcare technology innovations, and this year’s HIMSS conference mirrored that.

Do you agree that mobile technology has the potential to become the cynosure of healthcare industry?

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