In 2015, there were three times as many smartphones sold than there were babies born every day. With a statistic like that, it’s no wonder that mobile technology is redefining all sectors of twenty-first century society, including healthcare. Today, mobile access to patient information, diagnostic tools and provider-to-provider communication is transforming care delivery at hospitals.
In clinical care settings, mobile devices allow physicians to move their patient information with them as they see patients and confer with colleagues. With mobile access to electronic health records (EHRs) and patient images, providers can skip side trips to computer clusters or offices and concentrate on their time and focus on patients instead. Mobile devices’ always-on connectivity also make physicians more efficient by eliminating time spent logging in and out of computers and workstations to view patient records and images.
Despite these benefits of greater efficiency and fast information access, however, the use of mobile devices in clinical settings still varies widely among hospitals, and even among hospital departments. Security concerns as well as mobile support for EHRs create significant hurdles for institutional health IT departments.
Still mobility dominates everyday life, both personal and professional, and asking physicians to give up their devices in favor of tethered desktop systems seems counterintuitive. Experts and analysts agree that integrating mobile devices into clinical care settings is the future, but doing so in the context of the millions already invested in health IT infrastructures is complex and challenging.
Health IT departments require clinical tools that are platform and network agnostic, provide patient data protection, offer a high-level of security against network break-ins and have a low-IT footprint. With these attributes, an enterprise image viewer that runs on mobile devices, for example, can easily fit into any clinical health IT system without compromising security or requiring customization.