Although it is now possible to mobile deposit a check using your phone and discarding the paper document, it is almost impossible to schedule a medical appointment without making a call to the physician’s office. The technology has been available for well over ten years and yet it has only penetrated a tiny fraction of the Healthcare industry.
All is about to change, but not because of the federal government’s 2014 EHR (Electronic Health Record) Mandate.
The expectations of patients today are very different from the expectations of the patients ten years ago and their cries for better service from the healthcare professionals are getting louder and stronger every day. Paul Parmar, CEO Pegasus Blue Star Fund, is a healthcare industry visionary who observes that: “Today, when you purchase a new car, you shop online, are notified when your vehicle needs maintenance, you schedule the maintenance online, the maintenance records are kept on-line, and when you go to sell your car anyone can see the maintenance history by simply purchasing a Carfax. People today have the same expectations of their own maintenance experience and only EHR with a robust patient portal can deliver a similar experience.”
Consumer expectations and competition drive industry evolution as can clearly be seen in the music industry. Consumers began recording songs illegally from the internet in the late 20th century. Steve Jobs saw the potential of the new consumer approach to acquiring music and Apple responded by providing music at very reduced rates, by legitimizing the downloading of music from the internet.
Medical practices and Hospitals will be forced to adopt EHR and patient portals over the next ten years because customer demands will be a far more powerful mandate than governmental mandates can ever be. The healthcare industry will also be incentivized to begin adopting the new technology as the cost savings and positive impact on patients become well understood by the industry.
The next generation of EHR systems will not only contain patient portals for scheduling management, they will be automated to ensure that the doctor has patient demographics, medical history, current symptoms, and prescriptions available when they see the patient. The systems will be integrated with pharmaceutical suppliers, coding and billing applications and they will be available on-line to patients and other required physicians. The result of the improved integration and automation will be a reduction in the amount of manual work required to operate a medical practice.
The very good news is that as patients become more demanding, and the government and insurance companies mandate more transparency and automation, the physicians and practice administrators will begin to recognize the potential cost savings and the race to adopt the new EHR technology will rapidly heat up. By the end of this decade your personal health maintenance will be just as automated and simple as it is to maintain your vehicle today.
Tech trends are constantly expanding, and as Vinod Khosla says “we humans think linearly, but tech trends are exponential”. The healthcare industry is no exception, catching up with the mobile revolution through patient portals, apps and much more. Health Apps are becoming more personalized based on a patient’s individual history, not just general health information Apps.
Top Mobile Trends have pulled together our list of the best Healthcare app solutions out there:
mdTablet is a portal for you to look into your own health records with worldwide access from a secure platform. Once your doctor chooses the platform, you don’t need to remember to record the date of your last check-up. mdTablet acts as a centralized way for you to access prescriptions, schedule appointments, check receipts, schedule follow-up appointments and much more.
iTriage is a triage centre from within your smartphone, allowing you to figure out if you should rush to hospital, schedule a doctor appointment or curl up on the couch with a hot cup of tea and let it pass. The app allows you to check symptoms, learn about causes, research medications, choose a medical provider and more.
HealthTap provides up to the minute, real answers to your health questions from US-licensed doctors. The first question is free, then follow-up questions require a small fee.
Insurance companies are also embracing the app revolution, with companies like Aetna Life Insurance and Cigna Corporation launching their own apps, personalized for members.