With the increasing ability of smartphones and other wearable devices to handle complex and varied tasks and people’s growing reliance on them, it should come as no surprise that mobile technology is further entering the realm of healthcare. A survey by Spyglass Consulting Group found that 73% of hospitals are in the process of developing mobile strategies to address communication needs and increase collaboration; moreover, 9 of 10 healthcare systems are planning to significantly invest in secure, mobile technology over the next 18 months.
Naturally, with a healthcare mobility market that is set to grow from EUR 4 billion currently to EUR 17 billion by 2021, tech giant companies are building out their healthcare offerings. Aside from just telling us our daily steps and heart rate, devices are now able to handle tasks like connecting to blood sugar monitors (such as the iPhone-connected one that Apple’s CEO Tim Cook – who states that “health care is big for Apple’s future” – wears) and (in Samsung’s case) uploading glucose data into the cloud for analysis by medical professionals.
In order to realize the true potential of mobile technology in healthcare, it’s important to consider 3 broad areas: coordination, efficiency, and improved diagnostics.
Medical facilities are, by nature, complicated places. Often, one section, such as radiology or the pharmacy is too concerned about their activities to worry about the actions of other sections. By using mobile technology and allowing applicable parties to have full access to information, different departments are better able to communicate and address issues in real time, resulting in a better, more unified experience. Apple is taking big steps in this direction, particularly addressing care coordination of chronic diseases like diabetes and heart diseases-management by its CareKit, a framework that can be used by developers to create apps that help people manage their medical conditions utilising the mobile devices’ sensors, cameras and computing power, and easily track their health and progress and share information with their doctors and thus coordinate the work of all stakeholders in medical care.
The American Medical Association reports that as many as 60% of ER doctors feel “burnt out” due to the large amount of time they must devote to administrative tasks and data entry – only 27% of their time is actually devoted to patient care. In this instance as well as others, mobile devices will allow for better, faster data entry, better management of administrative tasks, and more time devoted to patient care, all while increasing collaboration with other departments and with patients. Demonstrating this increased efficiency, a University of Toronto study has shown that, on average, “if their doctor received lab results on his or her smartphone rather than the hospital’s electronic health records system”, a patient would spend 26 minutes less time waiting to be discharged.
Last year Apple applied for a patent for an electronic device that computes health data and can turn a phone into a health diagnostic device. And as the possibilities to use mobile technology, Big Data, and AI for early and improved diagnostic are becoming far reachable, more and more corporations are leveraging the technology to conduct clinical trials, find the right pool of patients to enrol experimental and control groups, monitor their progress through the study and even during clinical episodes of relevance, such as during a depressive episode, an epileptic seizure or an allergy attack, to help identify the health triggers and the future episodes, along with new types of early diagnosis, like early autism detection. Apple’s ResearchKit and CareKit software frameworks, alone, have been used for clinical studies involving 3 million participants on conditions ranging from Parkinson’s disease to post-surgical rehabilitation and physical therapy.
Although there are many pros to using mobile devices in the medical field, there’s no uniform process for fully implementing their usage. Google foresees a solution to the communication overload, betting that the healthcare industry will soon shift to the FHIR (Faster Healthcare Interoperability Resources) technology where all data from EMRs, hospitals, and doctors will flow in one standard format into a singular database enabling developers to build healthcare APIs that can be used to access datasets from different systems. And as Google’s SEO Sundar Pichai sees AI in healthcare as one of the biggest areas where the benefits will play out for the next 10 – 20 years, the company is seriously trying to utilise its AI capacities to create a new technological realm for disease detection, diagnosis and treatment, and potentially play on the health insurance market as well, followed by other companies having vast resources of user data that could be classified as patient health information. 2018 has already seen numerous tech giants, including Amazon, launch into the healthcare industry with new products and partnerships, aimed at creating a new disruptive model on the health insurance market and result in lower healthcare costs and improved services.
A disruptive change is coming to healthcare and all players, pharma companies, medical device manufacturers, service providers, healthcare experts, and insurance companies have to change their business models as quickly as the marketplaces, technology and customer needs are changing.
EVS Translations is here to facilitate the disruption and help all players in the healthcare industry to adapt their business models and follow the future of healthcare trends resulting from mobile technology, AI, personalisation and Big Data.
EVS Translations – a market leader for business language solutions for healthcare providers, with a global presence, over 25 years’ experience and the ability to work across time zones – focuses on four areas to perform as a strategic partner to global companies: an unique Translation as a Service (TaaS) concept in line with international standards, the delivery of technology solutions (CAT tools, system integrations, platforms and machine intelligence), process innovation (options for process automation to coordinate and control high volume demand), consulting (actionable insights for businesses seeking to construct an internal translation technology architecture or support for developing a bespoke machine intelligence system).