Mobile tech to transform healthcare services, patient engagement

The mHealth transformation will bring improved coordination of care, elimination of redundancy and inefficiency, shared accountability and, most critical of all, the active involvement of patients in healthcare efforts, Mary Annecharico, chief information officer at Henry Ford Health Systems, wrote in a commentary at CIO Review.

Mobile health technology is also bringing about huge transitions for IT leaders within the healthcare industry, Annecharico said. It is serving as a driver "for the increasingly essential patient and provider interaction in a secure and interoperable manner," while also filling the gaps in improving clinician workflow and proactive decision making, she said.

"[Mobile] health technologies are enabling us to look to our peers and the industry to move rapidly beyond the visioning range into the practical and interoperable range," she writes, noting "IT leaders are responsible for more concurrent initiatives than ever before."

However, not everyone believes mHealth tech, specifically the stream of apps coming into play, is as promising.

George Margelis, an Australian medical expert in e-health systems, says today's mHealth apps are "useless" and app makers require greater knowledge on what's needed by medical professionals and patients. And IBM's leader in healthcare and life sciences, Dan Pelino, believes there's still work to do closing the gap that exists between health data and care coordination by reconfiguring workflow processes related to patient care. Security, privacy, data protection are top challenges, according to Pelino.

It's clear, though, that Annecharico doesn't view any of those challenges as too big to overcome.

"Similar to the internet revolution, mHealth is revolutionizing the way of patients receiving their care. The differentiation between a conventional healthcare strategy and mobile healthcare strategy will be softened," she said.

For more information:
- read the commentary

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