HIMSS Analytics: More organizations offer apps for patient use

By Mark Terry, for FierceMobileHealthcare

The number of organizations that offer patients and consumers mobile apps increased 13 percent in the last year, according to the results of the 3rd Annual HIMSS Analytics Mobile Survey.

Thirty-five percent of the 170 respondents indicated that their organizations now offer the patient apps, up from 22 percent that provided the technology last year. Other mobile tools offered to patients include access to patient portals, telehealth services and remote monitoring devices, the survey found.

In keeping with the growth of mHealth initiatives, 59 percent of respondents reported that their organizations have mobile technology plans in place. Furthermore, another 29 percent said their organizations are in the process of developing such plans.

However, organizations are concerned with data security with regard to those plans. Almost all respondents (95 percent) indicated that they use at least one privacy and security approach--and passwords (94 percent) are the most popular method. More than three-quarters (78 percent) said they use multiple methods to secure data on mobile devices, a significant decrease from last year's report of 89 percent. Other methods used typically included encryption measures and remote wipe capability, according to respondents.

Responding organizations also said they were interested in the return on investment of such tools and strategies. Nearly half (48 percent) of respondents said they formally measure ROI related to mobile technology investment.

The survey also explored clinicians use of mobile technology. Most (69 percent) reported that their clinicians use it to view patient information, such as laboratory results or digital images. About two-thirds (65 percent) indicated they used it to look up non-protected health information, such as clinical guidelines.

"The survey reflects mobile technology as a transformational tool, as demonstrated by nearly all of the respondents supplying mobile technology to clinicians," David Collins, senior director of mHIMSS, said in an announcement. "This is a great example of how providers are integrating mHealth into today's healthcare workflows. There is still work to be done by formally embracing mobile implementation strategies and measuring ROI."

A poll of 1,500 physicians across the country by QuantiaMD released earlier this week found that 37 percent have prescribed a mobile medical application to their patients.

To learn more:
- read the survey (.pdf)
- here's the announcement