Why The Healthcare Industry May Soon Go Mobile
Could the mobile movement do for healthcare what it’s done for commerce?
There’s no easy answer to that question, but PricewaterhouseCooper is trying to do so anyway.
Introducing mobile healthcare, or “mHealth:” the “future of a healthcare industry that’s evolving to care for patients differently.” According to PwC, mHealth has the ability to make healthcare services better, cheaper and faster than they are today, and adoption may not be as big a barrier as you think.
Around half the patients they’ve survey said mHealth could improve the cost, quality and convenience of their healthcare in the next three years. Six in ten doctors think it’s adoption is inevitable, albeit a process that will take some time, and they have good reason to believe so.
An ageing population is one factor that could lead to an mHealth push, as public sector healthcare looks for more and better access to healthcare, as well as a reduction in cost. mHealth’s foundation is “already in place,” as many medical records are electronic and remote monitoring and communications are possible. And the opportunity for personalization mHealth offers is extremely attractive to potential patients.
According to PwC, there’s evidence that the mHealth system already works. In emerging markets, eight out of ten doctors recommended mHealth, and 59 percent of patients already used it. PwC claims adoption is higher elsewhere for two reasons: healthcare services are scarcer in emerging and developing markets, and there is less resistance to change.
Despite its promise, there are legitimate concerns about mHeath as well. Many doctors – 64 percent, to be precise, worry that mHealth’s “convenience and control” could make some patients too independent, and the same percentage said there aren’t enough proven business models to ensure mHealth’s success. Forty-nine percent of patients say cost would be the biggest barrier to adoption as well.
What are your thoughts on mHealth? Does the ability to have more direct control over your healthcare appeal to you? Tell us what you think in the comments below.
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