Rather than focusing on just what is currently being done in the m-health area, attention needs to be redirected to what is not being done--particularly in the area of secure mobile communications via short message service (SMS) and other forms of messaging, according to healthcare market research publisher Kalorama Information's new report, "Worldwide Market for Mobile Medical Apps."
The complexities associated with secure communication have been turning many providers away from developing solid solutions, notes the report, which estimated the market for mobile medical apps at $84.1 million last year.
Determining a middle ground between secure communication that meets compliance regulations and a simpler user experience that enables wider adoption can be a trying task, it notes. However, examples are emerging as to how this could be done with mobile messaging.
In a recent pilot program facilitated by mobileStorm for Kaiser Permanente, an end-user SMS solution was used that allowed for the creation and delivery of general appointment reminders, specific treatment reminders, and specific notification of completed lab results to patients.
At the end of a one month pilot program, the solution showed an improvement of 0.73 percent fewer "no-shows" for appointments, which equated to 1,837 fewer "no-shows" in total, the report stated. In the end, Kaiser was able to contain communication infrastructure costs, saving $150 per appointment (their no-show cost) which equaled total cost savings of more than $275,000 at just a single clinic.