Health care reform may be a particularly American concern, but mobile technology may offer improvements to patients’ lives that everyone could appreciate. In a new Issue Brief, the firm Deloitte says mobile devices like smart phones can help consumers enhance their own, taking certain costs out of the health care system.
Using electronic health records, and collecting information therein via cell phones or other personal portable devices, it may become possible to “analyze aggregate data to activate mobile, patient-specific output such as medication reminders, healthy habit tips and medical bill reminders,” according to Deloitte.
“The personal health record embedded in mobile communication devices (which Deloitte dubs “mPHR”) is the ‘killer app’ that may change the game for providers, consumers and payers,” Paul Keckley, Ph.D., executive director, Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, said in a release. “Considering that treating chronic disease accounts for more than 70 percent… of the total $2.4 trillion in health care spending in the United States, the business case for (health records in mobile phones) is solid for helping to reduce costs for managing chronic conditions, such as diabetes and obesity.”
Some software makers are ahead of Deloitte.
In April, we reported on Globatel’s SMS solution called MedAlirti, which enables images, audio and video files to be sent as SMS text messages to any multimedia capable wireless device, regardless of carrier; streamlines communications throughout the health information ecosystem; and can be implemented to improve a variety of healthcare-related services by utilizing advanced, managed two-way SMS text messaging technology.
And last year, we noted how Kaiser Permanente implemented an SMS-based patient reminder system, powered by mobileStorm. During a one-month pilot program, the healthcare company was able to save $150 per appointment–an overall cost savings of 30 percent.
The Deloitte 2010 Survey of Health Care Consumers found that:
- Fifty percent of consumers want a personal monitoring device to alert and guide them to make improvements in their health or treat a condition.
- Approximately six out of 10 consumers (57 percent) want to access an online PHR connected to their doctor’s office.
- Twice as many Gen X and Y consumers want to access and maintain their PHRs using a mobile device than do baby boomers and senior citizens.