Scientifically, the medical field is on the cutting edge. Technologically, they can often be slow adopters despite the potential return on investment, both in terms of finance and in the potential to save lives.
However, we are now seeing the development of apps for hospitals and other medical facilities on the back of user-driven demand that is pushing a new technology into this area faster than ever before.
Doctors are now demanding iPads and other tablets, if only to improve their own personal efficiency in the first instance however thoughts of the benefit a completely integrated Hospital Management System driven by mobile technology make you wonder exactly how far this can go.
The first steps have already been taken and it is not just the Apple iOS that is attracting the attention of the medical community with Google’s Android OS being considered as a more open platform than that which is on offer from Apple.
CIO.com recently reported on the arrival of Android and its effects on the consumerization of IT.
The article suggests, based on MobileIron’s customer engagement data, that 2012 will be the year Android invades the enterprise despite known security issues (a thought that is likely to frighten many IT managers trying to fight-off a BYOD free-for-all).
The security concerns surprisingly haven’t frightened the medical community (a big tick for Android) with Palomar Pomerado Health in San Diego, California recently completing specialized mobile apps that pull data from the hospital’s legacy system to give the physicians all of their patient data in real time
PPH enhanced the device security by incorporating the same user authentication, security and audit requirements into the app that exist in the hospital’s traditional systems. Users are also required to have VPN access into the PPH network, and multi-factor authentication.
The mobile application project was commenced in 2010 in conjunction with two PPH hospitals in the San Diego area with the plan to build its own mobile healthcare platform called MIAA (Medical Information Anytime Anywhere).
The hospital’s mobile application was developed for the Android mobile operating system and run as sandboxed project outside of the core IT infrastructure according to a report on PC Advisor. (http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/news/mobile-phone/3340089/android-on-call-hospital-builds-custom-mobile-app-for-patient-data/)
They go on to say that “The MIAA app is compatible with any Android smartphone or tablet. But the PPH staff primarily use Cisco Cius tablets because they incorporate Cisco’s unified communications features not available on other Android devices into the MIAA app.”
Orlando Portale, Palomar’s chief innovation officer considers the Cius the first enterprise tablet because it provides a controlled environment, enterprise-level support and is complimentary to the Cisco network.
“The app gives doctors up-to-date summaries of patient information including allergies, active medications, lab info, recent vital signs, and more. A doctor can drill down into more detail in each area by tapping an icon, to see, for example, data on recent blood tests, prescriptions, various patient charts and notes, and even look at X-rays.”
While there is no mention of the project cost, it is clear to see that the potential benefits (to doctors, nurses and patients) will be immense and the financial return on investment in mobile apps for the hospital will certainly be clear in a very short period of time.
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