Wavelink Blog


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.


This is Your Brain… on a Mobile App

CNN recently posted an article highlighting the rise, and evolution, of mobile applications, specifically as it relates to healthcare and brain imaging for diagnosing strokes. Those of us who’ve been around the industry long enough are already aware of the potential for mobile applications in the healthcare space, but the article makes good mention of the fact that technology (smartphones and tablet computers) is starting to deliver more reliable hardware for the tasks.

Medical experts have been skeptical about using a 3.5-inch screen, like the one on an iPhone, for emergency diagnoses. But thanks to advancements in image compression, microprocessors and wireless-data bandwidth, the smartphone may prove to be, like beepers, an essential tool for on-the-go doctors.

Of course, this also plays into the growing concerns with HIPAA and HITECH regulations. With this information on a device, you can see how ensuring that EHR/EMR data is protected is an absolute must, whether it’s on the device or being transmitted wirelessly.

So, that begs the question: How comfortable or uncomfortable would you be knowing your doctors smartphone has an image of your brain on it?

Smartphones and Mobile Devices: What Data is Safe Anymore?

With our recent announcement about the soon-to-be released Smartphone support from Avalanche, we are obviously paying greater attention to not only just traditional mobile device management topics, but more and more to those that involve Smartphones, tablets, etc. I missed this column when it came out, but it brings up some very interesting questions regarding the safety of data on employee and corporate owned devices.

The column points to a recent California Supreme Court ruling that information contained on a mobile device, can be accessed by police without a warrant. Now, for most of us that means little, but the author makes a compelling case about how that could cause some serious security issues. For example, a doctor caught speeding and his device, which happens to contain confidential patient information, is confiscated.

“The potential consequences to the hospital are devastating: Not only must it inform patients of a privacy breach (an effort which can, by itself, cost millions of dollars). It may also face fines and legal action for allowing the information to be revealed in the first place.”

It brings up some very interesting, and valid, concerns about how information is kept safe. As a side note, we will be demonstrating our Smartphone support on the road, so if you’d like to discuss this or other Smartphone topics, stop by one of these shows and say hello.