There are interesting synergies going on in healthcare. Large healthcare organizations such as Sutter and Kaiser are among the leaders in institutionalizing patient care technologies at a systems level, through the use of systems such as Epic.
That’s all well and good, but real progress in realizing the potential of smartphones and tablets on the ground has been slower to take hold. Doctors, nurses and staff use phones and tablets for email and messaging, but their use for sophisticated diagnostic and data/information input and output has the potential to significantly impact mainstream medical practice. An article by Ken Terry in Information Week titled “Strategy: How Mobility, Apps and BYOD Will Transform Healthcare” (http://tinyurl.com/bylrm58) discusses how this is happening.
Home monitoring technology has been an accepted part of medical practice, and it can be a factor in the medical community’s acceptance of smart technologies. Another factor is the increasing use of mobile healthcare applications by patients; the article notes that there are between 20,000 and 30,000 such apps. Some of these are standalone (heartrate monitoring and other fitness tools), while some expect collaborative communication between medical staff and patients. Diabetes Manager is an application that enables users to enter blood glucose ratings into their phones and receive feedback from a “virtual” coach. A trial of the application showed a significant decline in blood sugar levels among users, compared with non-users.
In upcoming entries, we’ll discuss some of the other trends in Smarttoy use in healthcare. The article will be our touchstone. Have a read, and feel free to comment.