Where’s the business model for mHealth?

USA Today Hospitals Lose 83 Billion using old tech

U.S. physicians and hospitals are in the digital dark ages when it comes to using the latest mobile devices and Internet services to deliver patient care. As a result, U.S. hospitals are absorbing an estimated $8.3 billion annual hit in lost productivity and increased patient discharge times, according to a Ponemon Institute survey of 577 health care professionals, released Tuesday to CyberTruth… …The study, sponsored by tech security firm Imprivata, shows that clinicians waste an average of 46 minutes per day waiting for patient information. The main reasons: reliance on inefficient pagers, no Wi-Fi access, deficient e-mail and bans on use of personally owned devices. That adds up to a productivity loss of $900,000 per year for the typical hospital — or more than $5.1 billion annually across the health care industry

Byron Acohido, USA Today

In my opinion the mHealth business model is obvious because the healthcare roles that most of us just accept without even thinking about have been key drivers in the unprecedented rate of adoption of mobile (the newest trillion dollar industry) around the globe. To others it’s simply about time that we started to use the tools of our time. But if you’re still not convinced or want some US care provider data to help you make a business case submit your personal details to Imprivata for a copy of their sponsored report as I think it will make clear that we won’t be able to continue wasting our limited healthcare resources on overly complex and out of date processes.

The USA Today video also shines a spotlight on an major oversight from the mobile operator community as they race to be defined by the next big thing. Even though they’ve finally started committing billions of $’s to mHealth initiatives it astounds me that so few of them have paid any real attention to the important ground work needed to reassure people and dispel common misconceptions about their networks that a quote from Imprivata CEO Omar Hussein highlights:

the most common form of – DIGITAL? – communication in the entire world is denied to an industry because it’s not secure

If I was working for an US telco I would be beside myself about this type of miscommunication and I would be beside myself trying to make it abundantly clear that this is completely inaccurate.

Perhaps they need to do more to point to the tens of millions of care providers around the world who already routinely use SMS to communicate appropriately with their Patients, work together to roll out a SMS signature system like they have in Turkey, or spend more effort championing the here and now mHealth success stories that they enable at leading healthcare brands in the USA like Walgreens and KP.

Sadly I’m almost resigned to thinking that we’ll have to wait until we see even more diagnostic medical tech bundled with smartphones before US mobile operators start to be weened off their big expensive healthcare-vertical-dedicated-device focus:

ATT Booth at the 2012 mHealth Summit

not long then ;)

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