Morton, Ill. - December 5, 2011 - Float, a consulting firm that develops mobile learning strategies and apps for major healthcare organizations and Fortune 500 companies, today announced the first research findings from its seven-part series of Environmental Scans on the medical industry. Research includes the state of mobile technology among medical professionals, advances in how mobile is being used for education in medicine and healthcare, as well as predictions for mobile's role in the industry moving forward.
State of Mobile in the Healthcare Industry
- 80 percent of doctors in the U.S. use smartphones and medical apps.
- 30 percent of practicing physicians have already purchased an iPad, and 28 percent plan to do so within the next six months.
- As of late 2011, there were more than 10,000 medical and healthcare apps available in Apple's iTunes App Store.
- Residents found that the use of smartphones helped to increase their mobility and multitasking abilities.
- Medical students using information accessed using smartphones outperformed seasoned medical consultants in prescribing emergency drug infusions.
- GetYa Learn On (GYLO) and Cambridge University released multiple medical books as interactive apps for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices in June 2011.
"The unique aspect of mobile learning is that the leaner can engage from any location at any time, especially at a particular time of need," said Gary Woodill, senior analyst at Float Mobile Learning. "Mobile also keeps leaners connected to a wide variety of information sources and a network to communicate with. All of mobile learning's characteristics are especially applicable to the healthcare industry, which is why we conducted this research. We wanted to find out how mobile devices are used for both teaching and learning among medical professionals, as well as what opportunities lie ahead."
Examples of Mobile Teaching and Learning in Healthcare and Medicine
- Virtual stethoscopes are used for training to mimic medical conditions.
- Virtual microscopes, such as the FotoFinder Demoscope app for iPhone, allow medical students to use laptop or tablet computers instead of a real microscope to analyze electronic copies of slides.
- Tablets are used to display images so the patient has a better understanding about his or her own condition.
- Telemonitoring where non-experienced medical practitioners can be guided by an experienced person using a mobile phone or tablet.
- Podcasts that include diagnosing and treating conditions, as well as how to write patient notes.
- Interactive iPad apps to view animated 3-D molecular models of different proteins and compounds.
- A medical database app called Unbound Medicine that is a medical catalogue for diseases, medications and diagnoses.
- Medical conference apps, such as Pfizer Engage Mobile, are provided to healthcare professionals who attend or industry conferences
"There have been a significant number of special-purpose mobile devices built for the medical and healthcare markets over the past few years," said Chad Udell, managing director of Float Mobile Learning. "We're beginning to see mobile learning apps that simulate traditional medical equipment, allowing students to practice without the purchase of expensive medical devices. There are also mobile video communications systems and other mobile devices designed to facilitate remote interaction between doctors and patients."
What Effect Will Mobile Have on the Healthcare Industry in the Future?
The rapid growth in mobile learning for medicine and healthcare is only expected to continue as more and more mobile-centric solutions are developed for education, training, and the ongoing practice of medicine. By 2012, it is forecasted that a majority of physicians will be equipped with smartphones and/or tablet devices.
"We believe that pharmaceutical and healthcare organizations have endless possibilities for mobile learning," continued Udell. "Imagine that a physician is able to diagnose a disease by recording a sound of a cough on their mobile device, sending the file to their connected network of physicians, and then having someone identify the sickness purely by the sound file. Mobile opens up so many doors for an industry like this, and we're excited to be a part of where it's headed."
This is the first part of Float's seven-part series of Environmental Scans on the healthcare and medical industry. To learn more, visit their booth #726 at the mHealthSummit in Washington, D.C. on December 5-7, or download the full report at http://floatlearning.com/research_papers/.
About Float Mobile Learning
Float's team of experts combines strategy, mobile app development, and eLearning to guide organizations by harnessing the unique power of mobile technology. Founded in 2010, Float works with industry leaders such as Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT), Pioneer Hi-Bred, GROWMARK, and Wiley Publishing Inc. (NYSE: JW.A) to strategize and develop mobile learning initiatives. To learn more, please visit http://floatlearning.com.
About the Float Mobile Learning Environmental Scan
Research analysts at Float Mobile Learning used objective observation and analysis of case studies, books and published scholarly journals, along with analysis of products and services in the marketplace. A list of sources can be found at the end of the full report.