mHealth productivity gains to reap $305B in savings

Mobile technology will transform the healthcare industry with increased productivity gains saving $305 billion over the next 10 years, according to a new report by the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions. The savings will come from reduced travel time, better logistics, faster decision-making and improved communications, among other improvements, says Deloitte.

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.

Cutting healthcare costs is imperative if America is to get a handle on its tremendous debt and out-of-control healthcare spending. With healthcare consuming 18 percent of U.S. gross domestic product, mHealth is a "key element" of the healthcare industry's response to the "market's quest for value," concludes the Deloitte report.

"mHealth technologies are a valuable partner in healthcare's shift towards a delivery model that is patient-centered and value-based," the report states. "The power and reach of mobile communications offers great versatility and utility to enable provision of high-quality, low-cost health services."

Other findings of the report include:

  • The healthcare and life sciences sector is recognized as one of the top three fields (along with consumer products and the financial services industry) likely to experience new mobile business model growth in the next five years, according to the Deloitte Open Mobile Survey 2012.
  • After a slow start, the capabilities offered by mobile technologies are fast being appreciated by the healthcare industry with a raft of devices, sensors, apps and other programs being developed that target chronic conditions, telemedicine and remote monitoring, patient data capture, electronic records, e-prescribing and the parallel industries of fitness and wellness.
  • The extent to which stakeholders create user confidence through adequate privacy and security protections will play a key role in accelerating or slowing the adoption of mHealth and the realization of benefits.

To learn more:
- read the Deloitte report