Enterprise Mobility & the Connected Worker Blog

Investment in Line of Business Mobile Devices for Health Care Ecosystem Reaches All-Time High

by Cameron Roche | 10/20/2016

With patient satisfaction and engagement rates as main drivers, growth for both rugged and consumer grade devices used for line of business applications in the health care vertical is projected continue through 2020. The health care ecosystem has reached a critical juncture where organizations are beginning to heavily invest in the next generation of mobility solutions. In 2015, the health care vertical invested nearly $7.2B between hardware, software, and connected services. Over the next few years, this value is projected to climb well past $8.0B as an increasing number of organizations begin their transition towards new mobile-enabled solutions.

With health care providers looking to increase patient satisfaction rates, many organizations are turning to mobile technologies for differentiation in a highly competitive and cost-driven environment. In fact, a recent 2016 VDC Research health care survey revealed that the top three leading pressures to invest in mobile health care all had a focus on the patient, as seen in the figure above. In order best leverage this opportunity, look for the next generation technologies such as hardware platforms, secure communications, and workflow management applications to enable health care team members to spend more time with patients. Upon further investigation, VDC’s health care survey indicated that top three types of workers slated to receive new devices (defined by a deployment of a mobile device within the next 18 months) are executive management, doctors/physicians, and nurses. Mobile-enabled devices and applications should allow executive management to expect benefits like increased dashboarding capabilities and enhanced insights into workflow efficiency. On the other hand, doctors and nurses will be able to more effectively chart or look-up medical/patient information, locate critical assets, and communicate with other team members. While this shift will be gradual, due in part to a general (and some generational) resistance to rapidly adopt new technologies, forward-thinking organizations are already piloting this next generation of mobile investments. 

Based on these drivers, health care organizations are developing and deploying a wide range of interactive applications for their patients. More than 70% of health care services providers indicate that their current or planned applications will allow patients to make appointments, access lab results, contact their health care provider, monitor for medication compliance, and reference important educational information about diseases and medications. For example, Massachusetts General Hospital, in partnership with Apple’s ResearchKit, has pioneered the application GlucoSuccess. GlucoSuccess uses self-reports of food and medication intake coupled with the iPhone’s accelerometer and gyroscope to help patients with diabetes monitor medication, dietary, and activity compliance. Another pertinent example of a patient focused application is TigerText’s HealthBot. HealthBot is an encrypted, HIPAA-compliant messaging application, which creates structured conversations utilizing a natural language processing system. Through a chat window, patients can interact with HealthBot to schedule appointments, research medical information, or receive medication reminders.

View the 2017 Enterprise Mobility & Connected Devices Research Outline to learn more.