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How Mobile Devices Are Transforming Healthcare

A new report from the Brookings Institution’s Center for Technology Innovation examines the global growth in mobile devices and how it’s impacting health care.  It estimates there are over 40,000 mobile health applications that have been downloaded by 247 million people. Mobile applications already help manage chronic disease through remote monitoring, remind the elderly about medications, share information about care with expectant mothers as their pregnancy progresses, and extend rural access.

Privacy and security remain concerns, and reimbursement policies present barriers. Regulatory performance standards, such as accuracy of blood pressure data transmitted by home monitoring devices, may need to be addressed as well.  Finally, the report covers the economic impact of mobile health, citing this data:

  • Annual mobile health revenues are projected to reach $23 billion worldwide by 2017, with $6.5 billion in North America.
  • Remote monitoring will comprise about 2/3 of the mobile medical market
  • Mobile devices improve productivity, saving $33 billion in increased productivity in 2011 according to one estimate. A third of this gain — over $11 billion — came from the medical arena. Over the next 10 years, productivity gains in medicine could reach over $305 billion.

Source: West D. How mobile devices are transforming healthcare. Issues in Technology Innovation, no. 18, May 2012. http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/research/files/papers/2012/5/22%20mobile%20health%20west/22%20mobile%20health%20west.pdf

Related resources:

Entner R. The wireless industry: the essential engine of US economic growth. Recon Analytics, May 2012.  http://reconanalytics.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Wireless-The-Ubiquitous-Engine-by-Recon-Analytics-1.pdf [for more on productivity impact]

mHIMSS – Health Information Management and Systems Society, global mobile initiative: http://www.mhimss.org/

Mobile Health Association: http://www.mobilehealthassociation.org/

MobiHealthNews: http://mobihealthnews.com

Posted by the AHA Resource Center, (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

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