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“Things may happen and often do to people as brainy and footsy as you.”
― Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You'll Go!
What will doctor’s appointments be like in 2015 – and where and when will these encounters occur? Will you be meeting your doctor from the comfort of your own kitchen table, via video conference? Will you be able to send questions and images to your physician’s office via your phone to get consultation about an injury or illness?
Healthcare technology has advanced exponentially, and innovators are discovering how to use it in ways it’s never been used before. Smartphones and other mobile devices today are being used to capture and record a wide range of personal health information, from fitness performance and weight management to blood sugar records. These mobile medical apps are just one avenue that patients could use to gather, analyze and send personal health details directly to their physician without stepping foot in his or her office. Imagine your smartphone becoming truly smart and knowing when to send information to your healthcare provider.
The average wait time in a doctor’s office is 23 minutes, but the average time actually spent with one’s doctor is only seven minutes. So why make patients go to their doctor? In the not-so-distant future, patients may have access to “smart” beds at home that automatically transmit breathing and heart rates, conduct diagnoses and administer medicine under the watchful eye of hospital patient command centers. Nurses, physicians and lab techs could use the command centers to monitor vital signs from each patient throughout a city, a region or the nation.
It’s no secret that many hospitals often don’t have enough rooms or physicians to keep up with their volume of patients. Hospitals of the future could boast workstations where employees monitor and manage thousands of pieces of patient data. They would have access to a plethora of wireless devices, electronic health records and payment information, all while responding to specific patient needs either in traditional hospitals or in the comfort of patients’ connected homes.
Imagine an evolution of technology where:
Smartphones and other mobile devices enable healthcare providers to gather bio-surveillance data in real time and support local, state, regional and federal agencies in the prevention of such diseases as H1N1, or to assist with trauma support when natural disasters occur thousands of miles away.
Sure, the future of mobile health technologies seems to be a heavenly place. However, thought leaders in the mobile space do have their work cut out for them to even make a future like this attainable. While we look to the future for inspiration, it is what we do now that shapes it.
On Wednesday, May 23, a HIMSS Virtual Briefing will discuss The Future of Mobile Technologies and mHealth. Come join the discussion.
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