Mobile health (mHealth) is becoming more of a reality as medical practices increasingly embrace mobile technologies, according to a new study by Downers Grove, Ill.-based CompTIA, the nonprofit association for the information technology (IT) industry.
While laptop and notebook PCs are commonplace in the medical community, the next wave of mobile adoption is well underway as providers turn to tablets, smartphones and applications to increase productivity and improve patient care, according to CompTIA's Third Annual Healthcare IT Insights and Opportunities study.
One-quarter of healthcare providers surveyed report currently using tablets within their practice. Another 21 percent expect to do so within 12 months. More than half of healthcare professionals surveyed currently use a smartphone for work purposes.
Presently, about 38 percent of physicians with a mobile device capable of supporting applications use medical-related apps on a daily basis. Over the next 12 months, physicians expect to increase usage of medical apps to the point where 50 percent are using them daily. Two-thirds of the healthcare providers surveyed by CompTIA said implementing or improving their use of mobile technologies is a high or mid-level priority in the next 12 months.
CompTIA data indicates that almost one-third of providers currently use their smartphones or tablets to access Electronic Medical Records or Electronic Health Records (EMR/EHR) systems, with 20 percent expecting to start engaging in this mobile usage within the next year.
Overall adoption of EMR/EHR systems is also on the rise: 38 percent of healthcare providers have a comprehensive system in place and 17 percent have a partial system or module. Among the practices reporting have a complete EMR/EHR system in place, users gave a 61 percent net satisfaction rating.