Smartphone technology has already dramatically changed society, but there are areas where smartphones will have a particularly big impact in the future. Healthcare is one of the biggest of these fields. There is plenty of evidence that makes it easy to see how smartphone technology is going to revolutionize healthcare in the very near future.
Improving Provider Communication
We already have the ability to get in touch with doctors and their staff members at almost any time thanks to smartphones. The next step in the evolution of smartphone technology in the healthcare field is more sophisticated communication between healthcare colleagues. Instant file sharing, video communications, and conference calls with multiple people simultaneously will all help doctors collaborate more effectively.
No discussion of how smartphone technology is going to revolutionize healthcare would be complete without including a mention of telemedicine. Telemedicine allows doctors to see their patients without being in the same physical place, which is ideal for rural patients or those who cannot easily travel to a healthcare appointment. The data to support the rise of telemedicine is already there; business analytics firm PricewaterhouseCooper reports that roughly 50% of all consumers would be willing to use technology to access healthcare services. Smartphone technology should continue to have a big impact on the delivery of telemedicine, as the number of adults who used their cellular phone to receive information about their health nearly doubled between 2010 and 2012.
Integrated Healthcare Platforms
When looking at how smartphone technology is going to revolutionize healthcare, it is important to consider smartphone tools as a part of a larger system. A great example of this kind of integrated platform is Apple’s iOS 8 upgrade, which is set to include a new app called HealthKit. HealthKit allows users to monitor things like nutrition, sleep, and footsteps. HealthKit will be designed to work in tandem with the iWatch, Apple’s upcoming entry in the controversial field of wearable technology.
HealthKit and iWatch will be excellent technology for consumers looking to become more mindful about their health. However, most industry experts believe that the success or failure of the HealthKit and the iWatch will hinge on whether or not the healthcare industry is willing to adopt these tools for patient monitoring. In an article published recently in The New York Times, Brian Chen draws parallels between Apple’s negotiations with the music industry to sell music on iTunes and its collaboration with healthcare partners to make the HealthKit and the iWatch a success. History already tells the story of Apple’s success in the music industry with iTunes and the iPod: only time will tell whether or not Apple can find similar success in the world of healthcare.
Regardless of how successful the iWatch and HealthKit are, these healthcare tools and others like them exemplify the most important factor in how smartphone technology is going to revolutionize healthcare: creating a proactive system of health monitoring that allows for early detection of health issues and communication of these issues to providers using several different tools. As smartphone development continues to push towards changing healthcare forever, it will become increasingly important for patients and providers alike to have access to the right platforms and programs to make healthcare communications with smartphone devices safer and more efficient.
About Bob Higginbotham
Bob Higginbotham, CTS-I, CTS-D, is the Avidex National Manager of Healthcare AV. Bob has spent his 30 year career in leadership positions in the AV industry including extensive design and build work in healthcare facilities. He owned and operated a successful AV business in Texas with multiple offices in several cities where he managed a staff of over 100 employees. Bob has served as a technical consultant for a major AV manufacturer, led the technical sales team for a national video conferencing provider and provided technology auditing services for several private education facilities. He has a unique working knowledge of audiovisual technology as well as multiple certifications in audio engineering, acoustics, AV design, CQT system commissioning and video transmission systems. Bob holds a BA in communications and has recently served as board chair for a large private school. He brings his years of technical knowledge and leadership experience to Avidex where he leads the national healthcare AV team. Contact Bob at firstname.lastname@example.org