Healthcare Embraces Connected Tech

11/30/2011


Healthcare is getting connected thanks to M2M. While we may think of modern medicine as being on the cutting edge, in reality regulations and a need to be absolutely sure about a piece of technology before it is implemented can occasionally make healthcare slow on adoption. But connected devices are finding greater acceptance among health workers.

Computers have been a staple in hospitals for years, but now doctors and nurses are going mobile. A survey from CompTIA, www.comptia.org, a nonprofit association for the IT industry, indicates healthcare providers are increasingly using smartphones, tablets, and mobile apps to do their jobs.

Overall, one quarter of providers are currently using tablets within their practice, and another 21% say they will adopt tablets within a year. Additionally, more than half of providers use a smartphone for work. In the case of both smartphones and tablets, we are seeing how these devices are becoming vital tools for the enterprise user, as well as the consumer.


Apps play a big role here too. The survey says 38% of physicians with mobile devices that support apps use medical-related apps daily. This number is expected to increase to 50% during the next 12 months. In addition to apps, smartphones and tablets are also used to access electronic medical records, which can make patient data easily accessible to many providers. Currently, almost one third of providers are accessing these records using mobile devices.

While mobile connected devices seem to be enjoying surging popularity in the healthcare world, other connected devices are also making news. These products include devices that can even transmit data from inside the human body.

Heart patients sometimes receive implantable devices designed to regulate their heart beats. One of these devices is called an implantable cardiac defibrillator, and a new model from Biotronik, www.biotronik.com, is designed to bring new features to patients.

Specifically, the Lumax 740 is able to be used along with MR (magnetic resonance) imaging. So if a patient needs an MR scan, he or she would still be able to have one with the device implanted. The Lumax 740 also includes Biotronik Home Monitoring technology, which allows the device to transmit data from the patient’s unit to a physician automatically. This technology could allow potential problems to be caught while they are still treatable.

While connected devices have come a long way in healthcare, there is still room to grow. According to CompTIA’s survey, two thirds of providers say implementing or improving their use of mobile technologies is a high or mid-level priority in the next 12 months. Education and testing are still needed in order for connected healthcare to reach its full potential.





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