Healthcare, Healthcare, Healthcare – The Marcia Brady of the Mobility Space?

Healthcare, healthcare, healthcare. It’s like the mobile industry’s own Marcia Brady these days, as more and more attention is being given to mHealth. Just yesterday, we posted an interesting article about what happens when doctors lose their smart devices. But, healthcare mobility issues go beyond losing devices and extends to much higher-level mobility strategy. In May 2010, Gartner’s John Lovelock stated that healthcare CIOs were lagging when it came to having a sound strategy for enterprise mobility in place. CIOs stated that they were hoping one mobile platform or OS would emerge for management purposes. While no single platform has emerged as the clear winner, things are changing when it comes to mobility in healthcare.

“Mobile is certainly still one [area of health IT] that needs to be on that list of what’s coming. It’s here, but it’s still coming. We are just seeing the beginning of that. This is going to be something that is going to become much more significant,” said HIMSS CEO H. Stephen Lieber in an interview with MobiHealthNews.

Healthcare in the Mobile Ecosystem

We’ve mentioned that there doesn’t seem to be one clear platform winner, but Apple’s iPad is really making a big case for its place in the healthcare mobile ecosystem. According to an article in Wired, the Veterans Administration is looking to deploy 100,000 iPads across 152 locations and with the announcement of the iPad 3, CIOs will need to assess where it fits within their mobile ecosystem. Once they assess where it fits in, the bigger question becomes, “How do we manage it?”

For obvious reasons, security is a big issue in the healthcare mobile ecosystem and management extends beyond the physical device. As the BYOD phenomenon spills over into the healthcare sector, employees want their own devices to have network access. While the iPad and other slick handheld products get most of the attention with healthcare mobility, CIOs can’t forget about the management of other endpoints that are in the ecosystem: printers, ruggedized handhelds, routers, access points, etc.

If you’re an IT professional in the healthcare field, are you mindful to buy and consider products that can manage multiple platforms and OSes? Do you think multiple platform management is important? We’d love to hear your opinion.


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