Mobile technology is everywhere. From hailing a cab to making reservations at a hotel, restaurant, or tours, people have been using their mobile phones to do everyday tasks. It is not the case with healthcare centers and providers.
Many tech critics are saying that the healthcare industry is still practicing ancient ways of making prescriptions, setting doctor appointments, or accessing medical records. However, this does not mean that the industry is against integration. There are subtle details that these tech-savvy must know to understand the delay of mobile integration in healthcare.
What keeps healthcare from integrating with mobile tech?
It is a series of compliance that developers must meet to have their app or software usable in the said industry. It is not just any compliance. The policies set in the industry regarding record protection, secrecy rules in patient’s conditions, and other high clearance information must always be encrypted.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) regulates the storage and transfer of the in and outpatient records in the country. HIPAA compliance is essential in protecting patients and their files from any misuse. The said compliance must be met by these developers or face penalties of no less than $50,000 or imprisonment of up to ten (10) years, depending on the severity of the violation.
The Electronic Protected Health Information section requires all information received and transmitted by healthcare assistant app developers to be encrypted. It means more expenses on security measures and more time-consuming for app developers. It could be tedious work as billions of health records has to be received and maintained every day.
Thus, these challenges and regulations alone kept developers from exploring into the healthcare industry. Nonetheless, those who are brave and secure enough to run a health and wellness app have successfully ventured into this industry. They have developed applications and portals that saved patients their time, maintain their health care regimens, and obtain medical help when they need one.
How could mobile technology help the industry?
Having a healthcare mobile app promises a lot of benefits. They will ease the time constraints patients have to face in getting medical check-ups, get help during medical emergencies, and so much more.
Here are some benefits that mobile technology can give to the healthcare industry that does not require total compliance with HIPAA:
- Setting Appointments – This is the most tedious process in receiving healthcare. Everyone can attest to the hassles of waiting in line for your provider to pick up the phone, process your request for a doctor, and get a schedule on when your doctor can see you. It could better improve with mobile technology. An app developed by MedXCom allows their users to get in touch with their doctors, right at their offices, and talk to them about their physical issue that requires medical attention or check-up.
- Safety App for Outpatients – paper prescriptions are the usual document issued by your doctor that tells you the medicine you need to take for a specific illness. It also tells you how much to take a day and the number of times it must be made in a day. Technically, paper documents are easy to break, lose, or misplace. If it happens, it would have a severe impact on your treatment and recovery. A highly-awarded app developed by Penn Medicine offered the most innovative alternate prescription recorder that tells its users about their prescription details, like its expiration date, and other essential health reminders that should help patients get through their treatments.
- Real-time Assistance via Video Telecommunications – this is the most prevalent healthcare issue that requires technology so much. Those who cannot stand up or bear the agony of getting out of bed to see a doctor usually suffers in calling names to get them to one. With real-time communication eminent in mobile technology, this can be utilized to get doctors to see them and make a preliminary diagnosis. Websites like DoctorSpring,Doctor on Demand or American Well did just that. They allow users to call their doctors free of charge via online video communication platforms and get first-aid services. They can also run laboratory tests and send prescriptions for a minimal fee. Nonetheless, this technology can get patients immediate help from doctors without the agony of waiting.
Is there no mobile disruption in the delicate healthcare industry?
There is mobile integration in the healthcare industry. However, with the regulations placed on healthcare regarding the use of medical records, it has not fully implanted in the industry yet. Nonetheless, hopes are up on the future where it is easier to get a doctor, have roundabout access for doctors and healthcare practitioners to diagnose illnesses via initial assessments, review on the patient’s medical history via online portals, and patients know their medical situation anywhere in the world via the Internet.