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Traditional healthcare merges with m-health

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Traditional boundaries of clinical mobility and m-health that once distinguished the use of mobility by medical staff and patients are increasingly blurring.
Hospital executives therefore need to put in place a mobile computing strategy to fulfil the requirements driven by new use cases and organization settings, as well as those driven by the evolution of mobile technology and its relationship with the broader realm of pervasive computing, including the Internet of Things (IoT).
A new report from International Data Corporation (IDC, “IDC PlanScape: Mobile Computing Strategy for Hospitals”, offers a decision-making tool for hospital executives to help them define the vision, mission, and strategic goals of their mobile strategy, as well as the desired technology architecture that can support their objectives.
The evolution of healthcare toward integrated care models will require blurring the boundaries of mHealth and clinical mobility, as integrated care pathways will extend collaboration beyond the four walls of the hospital to involve primary and community care and patients to make them play an active role in their health management.
A broader adoption of mobile computing for hospital health, research, administrative and operation personnel, and patients can:
* Facilitate more accurate health data creation and collection (such as measurements, images, and clinical notes) and make information available at the point of care to support decisions.
* Help hospital executives deal with shrinking resources by maximizing the potential reach of professionals.
* Support the evolution of the role of patients from passive to engaged, in order to increase the efficacy of prevention policies and improve quality of life.
However, according to the new report, implementing a fit-for-purpose (and possibly a future-proof) mobile strategy can be a daunting task, especially considering the variety of requests coming from clinicians and administrators, legacy systems and information security, and other regulatory compliance requirements.
IDC asserts hospitals that want to design a mobile computing strategy must start from a detailed analysis of the requirements and benefits they can deliver to at least five broad user groups. These benefits will form the basis to define the mobile computing program’s vision, mission, and strategic goals.
In this PlanScape report, IDC provides guidance on the strategy implementation by defining the roles and responsibilities of different stakeholders and accompanying executives in the alignment of ICT capabilities, organization resources, and information governance with the future of mobile computing.
“When it comes to mobility, disparate and disconnected functional efforts alone are no longer acceptable,” says Massimiliano Claps, research director for IDC Government Insights and Health Insights. “To take advantage of mobile computing effectively while complying with regulations, hospital IT executives must nurture the right capabilities, deploy architectural components efficiently, source the skills and funds, apply management best practices to align the architectural components with the services they have to deliver, and set up governance arrangements to make accurate and transparent decisions.”
Hospital executives who do not put in place a mobile computing strategy that efficiently aligns the supply with the demands of different user groups run multiple risks, including reduced quality of care, lower hospital operations efficiency, and higher dissatisfaction of employees and patients compared with competing hospitals. This IDC study offers a step-by-step approach to mitigate these risks.