Nurses embrace iPhones/smartphones for somewhat different uses than doctors.
When it comes to talking about iOS devices in healthcare, most of think of doctors carrying iPads the way that they used to carry lengthy paper charts or clipboards. We think about doctors looking at X-rays and other diagnostic tests on an iPad, perhaps even using the iPad to illustrate a broken bone, illness, or surgical procedure.
Doctors, however, aren’t the only healthcare professionals to be embracing mobile technology. A new study shows that the vast majority of nurses have also embraced mobile devices, particularly the iPhone and other smartphones. It also highlights that differing needs of healthcare professionals when it comes to mobile technology.
Doctors are concerned about how mobile health apps and tech may empower patients.
Doctors may be fans of the iPad as a clinical tool, but they’re not certain that Apple’s iPad, the 5000+ health and medical apps in the App Store, or other mobile technologies are safe and effective health tools for patients. That’s the gist of a report by PwC Global Healthcare. The report was based on surveys of physicians, healthcare management professionals and payers, and mobile technology users in ten countries around the world.
According to the report, just under two-thirds (64%) of healthcare providers acknowledged that mobile technologies offer potential benefits for patients, but feel that mobile health (also known as mhealth) is virgin and untested territory. As a result, the majority of doctors (73%) don’t suggest iOS or mobile health apps to their patients and some (13%) even discourage patients from using them.
Griffin’s AirStrap Med case makes the iPad more physician-friendly
The iPad has been popular with doctors and healthcare providers since it debuted two years ago. In fact, the iPad’s form factor and capabilities are almost tailor-made for many common and emerging uses in medicine like electronic health records, medical and drug reference guides, and even remote diagnosis using FaceTime.
With hospitals rolling out iPad deployments and many physicians in private practice buying them, it was only a matter of time before healthcare-specific iPad accessories hit the market. Griffin Technologies is one of the first companies to focus on making the iPad an even better fit for doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals with a new case that’s designed specifically for medical environments.
This brain scan is measured differently on Mac and PC.
A team of researchers have discovered that the software used to analyze images of the brain gives significantly different results depending on whether it’s used on a Mac or PC. It means the measurements gathered on one machine can be up to 15% different than those gathered on another — using exactly the same images — which is a serious issue that medical professionals and developers need to fix… fast.
Lifesquare uses QR code stickers, iPhone app to provide emergency workers with health data.
Healthcare has been a natural fit for the iPad and, to a slightly smaller extent, the iPhone. iOS devices can provide interaction with electronic records and other patient information as well as offer access to reference guides, medical images like X-rays, and even remote diagnoses via FaceTime.
A new program being tested in California’s Marin County aims to bring some of those abilities to paramedics in the field. The program, which equips paramedic teams with iPhones via a specialized QR reader app, is a joint venture with Silicon Valley startup Lifesquare. Its aim is to allow paramedics instant access to patient information using QR codes stickers.
VA app to give healthcare resources to caregivers of injured veterans
The iPad is already a big hit with the healthcare industry. A new pilot project being run by Veterans Affairs Department could encourage the iPad to be used as a longterm home care solution as well. As part of the agency’s Family Caregivers program, the VA will deploy 1,000 iPads to family members of veterans suffering from injuries and disorders associated with military deployments after 9/11.
The VA program was created to help disabled veterans remain at home with loved ones providing personal care. It already provides a range of important resources for caregivers including a monthly stipend, travel expenses for care-related activities, health-related training, counseling services, and respite care.
The iPad’s design and capabilities have always made it intriguing option for doctors and other healthcare providers. Shortly after Apple launched the iPad two years ago, technophile doctors began bringing them into their offices and a number of hospitals began launching pilot programs centered around it.
That initial burst of interest and enthusiasm hasn’t slowed in the slightest according to a new report from Manhattan Research. In fact, iPad use by U.S. doctors has nearly doubled in the past year and adoption is set to continue at a meteoric rate over the next twelve months.
The VA cancels Microsoft contract, which could mean widespread use of iOS to follow
While many federal agencies have been defecting from RIM’s BlackBerry to iOS devices, the Department of Veterans Affairs seems poised to make a much more dramatic transition. The agency recently canceled its participation in Microsoft’s Software Assurance program. While the move isn’t likely to mean the VA is replacing all of its PCs with Macs, it may signal a significant transition to non-Microsoft mobile devices like the iPad.
iPads offer lots of advantages to doctors but they can also provide lots of distractions
Since the day the original iPad was announced more than two years ago, there’s been a constant discussion about its use in healthcare. At face value, the iPad offers a lot of tools to doctors and other healthcare professionals like access to electronic medical records (EMRs), access to electronic prescribing systems, and access to a wealth of reference materials like medication guides. To some extent the same benefits are available from the iPhone and other smartphones.
Those seem like great additions to a doctor’s daily workflows – both in the office and while on rounds at hospitals. Those great healthcare features don’t live in a vacuum, however. They live on mobile devices that also allow their owners to check-in on social networks, send and receive texts and emails, play games, and do all manner of personal tasks. That has some doctors and hospitals concerned that iPad, iPhones, and other mobile devices could actually be putting patients in harm’s way.
Will a new era of healthcare privacy enforcement keep the iPad out of healthcare?
The costs of not complying with HIPAA (the 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), which includes self-reporting of data breaches, can be steep. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee recently finalized a settlement with the Department of Health and Human Services for $1.5 million for a recent breach (on top of a $17 million price tag for the investigation and remediation actions). HHS seems to be making a a show of high profile enforcement as a way to encourage better compliance among smaller organizations, including hospitals and individual medical practices.
This raises the question of whether or not using the iPad in healthcare increases the risk of privacy violations. If so, will a show of force on the part of HHS dampen the enthusiasm for the iPad in healthcare?