Wavelink Blog

Tag: mHealth

Voice-Enabled Weigh In’s – A Look at Voice Applications in Healthcare

Imagine arriving at the local insta-care facility and after your check-in, you step up to the scale for your routine weigh-in. However, this time instead of the local nurse checking your weight, it’s automatically said out-loud by a small computer. Come to think of it, maybe that’s a bad example… turns out most probably don’t want their weight being open to public ears! 

Yet, despite that bad example, it’s easy to see areas in the healthcare mobile ecosystem where voice-enabling tasks could be a huge benefit. Going back to the above, imagine language barriers that make new patient check-in’s difficult. Now imagine if that process could be voice-enabled, by having basic check-in questions spoken to the patient in his or her language. Suddenly, the process is much quicker, and wait times are drastically reduced. The concept is really no different than that of providing broad language support for voice picking applications in the warehouse.

Bottom line is this: voice technology is growing in the healthcare world, just as it has in retail, manufacturing, transportation, and so in. In fact, a recent TMCnet article about Nuance’s Mobile Clinician Voice Challenge states:

Physician adoption of mobile healthcare devices is expected to reach up to 85 percent over the current year. Increasing the need for user-friendly healthcare applications that enhance medical professionals ability to track mobile workflow and overall provide effective patient care digitally.

85%. That’s a big jump. So the next time your at your local physician, insta-care, or emergency room, take a look around – what aspects of the healthcare mobile ecosystem do you see that could be voice-enabled?

 

 

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.

-BH

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?

Mobile Health Apps on the Rise

Here is a good look at the rise in mobile health applications, and the potential factors still standing in the way of a quick industry-wide implementation.

We’ve known about, and discussed,  the expected jump in healthcare mobility and the road blocks to adopting enterprise level solutions within the industry. But the article does point out some good bits of information, including a staggering figure about the worldwide interest in mobile health (now commonly called mHealth) applications.

Check out the article and if you are in, or work with, the healthcare industry, join us at the 2011 Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Show in February.