Despite all sorts of forecasts indicating that usage of mobile and wireless technologies will skyrocket in the coming years, many healthcare CIOs have not implemented strategies to accommodate new devices, sensors and applications, according to an industry analyst.
"These CIOs feel that the proliferation of the number of devices, the number of operating systems, and the security weaknesses inherent in all of them would overwhelm their IT departments so they are dragging their heels," Gartner healthcare analyst John-David Lovelock says in an interview with InformationWeek. Lovelock says it's unrealistic to expect that a large organization can standardize mobility on a single platform.
"Every practitioner in healthcare is going to have their preferred form factor for delivering functionality to their job," the analyst explains. "Getting used to multiple devices and the problems with supporting multiple devices, multiple versions of them, and multiple operating systems is something that the CIO must take on."
Lovelock references a March report from Gartner, "The Top 9 Actions for the Healthcare Delivery Organization CIO, 2010," which says that wireless and mobile devices are fast becoming transformative technologies in healthcare. Because of the rapid innovation in this sector, he recommends that CIOs pay close attention to wireless security and bandwidth management, and focus hiring and training efforts on skills in the mobility arena.
And, of course, organizations need to develop strategies to handle clinical and business workflows on mobile devices. Lovelock says to align these plans with those of patient and clinician portals since they have a lot in common with wireless and mobile technologies.