Healthcare Technology Featured Article

October 18, 2014

Health TechZone Week in Review: EHR and Mobile Health

Today's medical systems are turning to cloud and mobile technology more than ever to assist their patients and their medical needs. Electronic Health Record (EHR) keeping systems are able to immediately grant a patient's medical history to every level of the medical team, while mobile health supported by various phone and tablet apps are keeping people in shape and out of the hospital. Ultimately, this all leads to a rise in preventative medicine, which keeps hospital costs down by addressing health issues before they become a problem large enough to warrant a hospital visit. Below are some of the past week's most recent articles detailing how the medical technology community is evolving to incorporate these technologies.

One market projected to grow and greatly affect the mobile health community is telehealth. By 2018, experts predict that the market will account for $4.5 billion in deployments. Because telehealth connects doctors and patients on a video chat line, both parties can pick a convenient time that interrupts the least amount of work possible. This allows doctors to see, and treat, more people in each day.

Further evidence that the mobile health solution market is also growing is the fact that Rite Aid formed a partnership with GreatCall, and will be selling GreatCall alert products at its stores nationwide. GreatCall's products include a waterproof medical alert device for senior citizens, the Jitterbug 5 emergency-only flip phone, and the more advanced Touch3 smartphone that includes several safety apps alongside the Rite Aid pharmacy app. Together, these tools will provide efficient and simple solutions for contacting medical services and keeping healthy.

Validic, another mobile health innovator, also received the Best Practices Award earlier this week for its interoperability technology. Valadic's tools help connect hospital's EHR records to the patient by giving them access to Web portals for browsing treatment history as well as scheduling new appointments. Valadic specifically addresses the fact that patients are using a variety of operating systems to access medical services, and helps bridge that gap to bring support to any device.

EHR systems have risen in popularity over the past year, but now that they are more widespread they are likely to undergo change to adapt to patient and physician needs better. For example, EHR systems are likely to become consolidated into the hospital/large group practice market entirely to save money, while different platforms and uses will likely spur greater market differentiation.

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