Healthcare lagging in mobile strategy, app development, says survey

The healthcare industry is lagging behind retail and business services in mobile strategy and application development, with 36 percent having no strategy and 57 percent lacking a mobile app, according to a Robert Half technology survey of CIOs.

The survey polled CIOs in a random sample of U.S. companies in 23 major metropolitan areas also reveals just 17 percent of healthcare companies have a mobile app, and 22 percent plan to offer an initial app in the next 12 months.

When it comes to mobile strategy, 52 percent of healthcare companies expect to use a blend of apps and mobile-friendly web pages, while 10 percent favor web pages over apps. In comparison, 65 percent of business services and 63 percent of retail industries are already using a blend of apps and mobile web pages.

"To maintain competitive advantage, sectors such as business services and retail need to connect with customers anytime, anywhere, so it's logical to see them leading the charge in implementing mobile strategies," said John Reed, senior executive director of Robert Half Technology, in an announcement.

The news comes at a time when the healthcare industry is becoming a big focus point for mobile app development, as apps promise to speed up patient care and provide operational efficiencies and cost savings.

University of Cambridge researchers have developed a new smartphone app that promises to enhance the accuracy of colorimetric tests for diabetes, kidney disease and urinary tract infections. Researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology are developing a new blood testing approach that uses a smartphone screen and special software to analyze results in blood treatment scenarios. A poll of 1,500 physicians across the country finds that 37 percent have prescribed a mobile medical application to their patients, according to QuantiaMD, a social learning network for physicians.

The industry lag is due to several issues, from regulatory to data security worries. Government agencies and industry groups are already debating what new rulemaking is needed on healthcare mobile apps and devices.

The survey notes the obstacles facing the healthcare segment need to be removed.

"Compliance issues have made it difficult for the healthcare industry to move as quickly as other sectors, but as consumer demand for mobile health information grows, formal mobile strategies are a necessary next step," Reed said in the announcement.

For more information:
- read the announcement

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