Although the adoption of mobile technology in healthcare has been growing steadily over the past couple of years, it was not until COVID-19 struck that hospitals, medical professionals, and patients began to truly appreciate its importance.
In fact, by 2018, only 7% of healthcare and pharmaceutical organizations had gone digital compared to 15% in other industries. One year later, in 2019, only 11% of consumers in the US were using telehealth.
The same increases can be seen for remote patient monitoring (RPMs). While RPMs were already in a state of growth, COVID-19 helped its acceleration with new predictions showing its growth move from $745.7 million last year to more than $1.7 billion in 2027.
The onset of COVID-19 drastically turned the tables. So much so that, by mid-2020, 46% of the US consumers had shifted to telehealth with most of them using mobile instead of physical healthcare visits. In just a couple of months, the medical industry stopped playing catch-up.
The Adoption of Mobile Tech
Telehealth, according to the Health Resources Services Administration, entails the use of digital information and telecommunication technologies to facilitate remote clinical healthcare, public health and health administration, and patient and professional health-related education.
While this whole system encompasses a variety of technologies and devices, smartphones are at the center of it all.
- 81% of Americans are using smartphones on a day-to-day basis, and that’s expected to increase to 87% by 2023.
- More than 50% of the current internet traffic comes from mobile phones.
- Nearly 75% of the world will be using their smartphones exclusively to surf the web by 2025.
With 64% of patients already leveraging digital to manage health, full adoption of mobile tech appears inevitable.
At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, mobile technology in healthcare suddenly shifted from just being “helpful” and “convenient” to “critical” and “necessary”.
As such, countries like the US have been responding by progressively investing in telehealth infrastructure. Mobile technology has now become the in-thing in healthcare, as patients increasingly use their smartphones to connect with healthcare providers remotely.
The technology has enabled physicians to be more efficient. In fact, physicians and patients have canceled more than 70% of in-person visits. After seeing the benefits, 76% of consumers are now seeking to maintain the use of mobile technology in healthcare, even after the pandemic.
Mobile technology in healthcare holistically benefits not only patients but also physicians and medical centers by offering the following:
By integrating mobile tech with healthcare, providers and patients have the ability to monitor and manage their medical records more effectively. For example, physicians can access and review patient files from anywhere at any time. They can also quickly analyze large amounts of data to assist in the determination of a diagnosis and how to approach ongoing care.
Additionally, patients can avoid multiple phone calls and miscommunications. By having access to their account, they can more easily ask questions, set appointments, and make payments.
Mobile tech is also helping to reduce the burden of healthcare costs. A recent study conducted at Jefferson Health in Philadelphia found that the utilization of telemedicine saves up to $1500 per patient visit. In a statement, “In our on-demand telemedicine program, we found the majority of health concerns could be resolved in a single consultation and new utilization was infrequent.” This diversion of costly services, such as the ER, not only saves money for providers but also patients.
Additionally, patients who might normally avoid seeing a physician are more apt to use telemedicine options which is resulting in lower costs and better outcomes.
According to a report by the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 40-80% of a physician’s advice is forgotten before the patient makes it home. With the switch to mobile technology in healthcare, however, medical advice isn’t just given verbally. Patients get to freely access medical statements via their portals, as well as seek further clarifications without the need to set up in-person appointments.
Breaking Down the Barriers
Arguably, one of the biggest barriers to mobile technology adoption is overcoming the learning curve. And, while the education of this technology can be complex, choosing the right partner can mitigate this challenge.
A good place to start is choosing illumisoft.
With decades of expertise in the tech and software development space, illumisoft develops custom solutions that speak your organization’s language. And, by fully supporting the integration, they are able to push through common barriers seen when adopting new software and instead build processes that are immediately effective and scalable so that as your organization grows the process adapts with it.