Deloitte: 4 dimensions of effective mobile health

People, places, payment and purpose are the four dimensions of effective mobile health, according to a Deloitte Center for Health Solutions blog.  

"As organizations face new business models and increasingly need to maximize resources, a program that leverages the four dimensions of mHealth has the potential to improve workplace efficiencies, increase patient safety, better coordinate care, facilitate payments and engage patients," writes Harry Greenspun, M.D., Deloitte Center's senior advisor for healthcare technology and transformation, in the blog post.

Greenspun acknowledges that the promise of mobile health is "profound but as yet, unrealized" and warned that mHealth strategies are not "one-size-fits-all." In order to leverage the full potential of mHealth as a "healthcare disruptor," he argues that organizations must consider the four P's--people, places, payment and purpose:

  • People: The demographics and technology preferences of consumers and health professionals may be among the first considerations when planning a mHealth program so that technology platforms can be strategically tailored to users, writes Greenspun.
  • Places: The availability, accessibility and reliability of local networks--cellular, broadband and wireless--impact when and how mHealth is used, he says. As download speeds and bandwidth capacity increase, mHealth programs could leverage more advanced mobile functions. In addition, health care systems' current readiness to manage and respond to incoming clinical data may hinder mHealth's potential.
  • Payment: Value-based reforms that bundle payment with quality outcomes based on evidence-based standards could help advance the business case for mHealth, Greenspun asserts. Additionally, organizations' risk management policies should address privacy and security, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act regulations, and consumer concerns regarding the safety of patient information.
  • Purpose: mHealth strategies that align with case management complexities and clinical objectives, as determined by differing disease states, are more likely to be effective, he writes. 

A full-length report detailing the "four dimensions of mHealth" and the possible implications for stakeholders is forthcoming from the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, Greenspun discloses.

Last year, a report by the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions found that mobile technology will transform the healthcare industry in the U.S. with increased productivity gains saving $305 billion over the next 10 years. The savings will come from reduced travel time, better logistics, faster decision-making and improved communications, among other improvements.

The report cites a 2012 Brookings Institution study predicting that remote monitoring technologies will save nearly $200 billion by managing chronic diseases in the U.S. over the next 25 years. Deloitte points out other estimates that suggest remote monitoring can reduce the costs for caring for the elderly in rural areas by allowing seniors to live independently and spend more time at home, while reducing the need for face to-face medical consultations by 25 percent.

To learn more:
- read the blog post