Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Nine out of ten healthcare providers use mobile technology, says HIMSS survey

Steve Rogerson
April 28, 2015
Nearly 90 per cent of healthcare providers are using mobile devices within their organisations to engage patients in their healthcare, according to the HIMSS 2015 survey into mobile technology. Released at this month’s HIMSS Annual Conference in Chicago, the study of more than 200 healthcare provider employees showed that respondents believe that m-health technologies are beginning to drive cost savings and improve the quality of care delivered.
The adoption of mobile technologies has been rapid in recent years with 90 per cent of American adults owning a mobile device. The healthcare industry continues to keep up, as these technologies are critical to the industry’s shift to patient-centred and value-based care.
Respondents of this year’s survey reported leveraging a variety of mobile tools including app-enabled patient portals (73 per cent), telehealth services (62 per cent) and text communications (57 per cent). Of these technologies, 36 per cent of respondents believe the use of app-enabled patient portals is the most effective tool in patient engagement to date.
“M-health continues to evolve as a tool to drive healthcare efficiencies,” said David Collins,senior director of the HIMSS m-health community. “The proposed meaningful use stage three rule realises this with the concept of APIs and patient generated health data, and this year’s survey showed that the wide spread availability of mobile technology has had a positive impact on the coordination of patient care.”
According to a report from InMedica, a subsidiary of IMS Research, American healthcare providers are turning to telehealth in large numbers to help cut costs and projects patients using telehealth services to grow by nearly a factor of six by 2017. While 51 per cent of the HIMSS survey respondents indicated budget tolls as a key barrier to further implementation of mobile technologies, 54 per cent indicated they had achieved cost savings when asked if the deployment of mobile technology had a positive effect in this capacity. Specifically, areas of impact included preventative support care (24 per cent), telehealth interventions (23 per cent) and resource utilisation (21 per cent).
In addition, survey participants were asked to identify ways in which they were able to leverage mobile technology to impact patient care. Results showed that 51 per cent of survey participants indicated their organisation witnessed a positive impact that had stemmed from telehealth interventions, including the use of remote ICUs or teleradiology services and the ability to coordinate care across the care continuum, which includes the use of remote patient monitoring tools.
HIMSS is a global, cause-based, not-for-profit organisation focused on better health through information technology. Founded in 1961, it encompasses more than 52,000 individuals, of which more than two-thirds work in healthcare provider, governmental and not-for-profit organisations across the globe, plus over 600 corporations and 250 not-for-profit partner organisations that share this cause. Headquartered in Chicago, it serves the global health IT community with additional offices in the USA, Europe and Asia.