Mobile Health Care on the Rise


Revised January 2012

Increasingly evident today is that doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals are rapidly adopting mobile technology and using it for patient care. According to data compiled by research firm Frost and Sullivan, the mobile applications market in healthcare will grow by over 70% over the next five years. Thanks to hundreds of impressive health care applications, accessible via laptops, tablets, and smartphones, these devices can now be leveraged for mobile patient care, for tasks such as entering patient data, viewing diagnostic reports, and ongoing monitoring capabilities through instant secure access to patient medical records.

Because mobile technology is now becoming so ubiquitous, many people are beginning to see it as the launching pad for a more efficient technology-driven health care system. If mobile health care adoption rates continue as predicted, the demand for more and more mobile applications will also increase. Streamlined access to patient information will in turn expedite patient care and hopefully will lead to better, more proactive care and even lower health care costs. 

The Growth of Mobile Technology Applications – Developers Unite But Hospitals Lag

Mobile app developers are beginning to ally – forming an industry association - to better promote their interests. The creation of the Application Developers Alliance will enable collaboration, and provide education, cloud access and lobbying efforts. The Alliance is scheduled to debut at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), and is looking to recruit thousands of developers.

But while developers are rapidly pushing the creation of mobile apps forward, hospitals are slow on integration of mobile technology such as tablet implementation. Usually eager to embrace the latest technology, only a very small percentage of healthcare organizations have deployed mobile healthcare devices. One major hurdle is the underlying IT structure within existing enterprises, as most systems don’t support a tablet the way they do a desktop or laptop computer. Therefore, implementation of a mobile device often requires a complete redesign of the way information is presented. But what if there is a better way?

The Solution – Efficient & Secure Electronic Medical Records (EMR) Viewers

Managing patient care means securely accessing, coordinating and archiving a large volume of medical record information. When it comes to sharing medical records and images with patients, clinics, hospitals and pharmacies, using mobile technology viewing applications can enhance and extend healthcare capabilities – even securely accessing data from multiple HIS systems. Viewing and conversion technology can help reduce the risk of non-compliance with HITECH/HIPAA as well - providing access to patient records, while also ensuring data security through secure redaction capabilities and document access control functionality.

Today’s easy-to-use viewing solutions add value to mobile health solutions and electronic medical records by simplifying the viewing process through secure universal document and image access, providing collaboration tools and offering additional format support – providing immediate access to doctors’ orders, prescription information, medical reports, imaging films and more.

One viewing option to consider is an HTML5-based web viewer. This type of viewing solution uses standard HTML, so it enables any user to view documents or images on a browser through any device with web access - including tablets, laptop computers or smartphones.  AJAX viewers can automatically access cloud or server-based documents and images such as Word, PDF or DICOM  for display via web browser. Medical personnel can then view documents directly in the browser without the need to download or install any applications.

Document viewers also feature review capabilities such as annotation features that allow markup (highlights, sticky notes and rubber stamps) but won’t alter the original archived document, and redactions for protecting sensitive information. This enables medical providers to share their comments and suggestions while protecting patient privacy.

Document and image viewers and SDKs help organizations around the globe access, view, verify and process a multitude of transactions every day – from secure patient records viewing to streamlined insurance claims processing. Software development toolkits like RasterMaster SDK provide software developers the ability to create a tailored solution – for the best integration with other technologies, (like Health Information Systems) and the ability to build in customized functionality and optimally leverage existing installations – to fully meet the needs of the organization and staff. Plus, viewing and conversion technology helps healthcare organizations meet compliance standards by ensuring data security through secure access and thereby protecting sensitive information - and isn’t that just what the doctor ordered?