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Survey: 82 Percent of Healthcare Orgs Have Comprehensive Mobile Strategy

November 14, 2016
by Rajiv Leventhal
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Some 82 percent of respondent healthcare organizations have a fully implemented mobile strategy, indicating a greater level of maturity compared to commercial enterprises, according to a survey from software provider Red Hat.

Just a year ago, Red Hat’s enterprise mobility survey revealed that just 52 percent of respondents across commercial industries said they have a fully implemented mobile strategy. The survey, commissioned by Vanson Bourne, polled the views of 200 IT decision makers from private, public, life sciences and pharmaceutical healthcare organizations with at least 1,000 employees in the U.S., France, Germany and the United Kingdom.

In addition, this year’s research found that nearly eight in 10 (78 percent) healthcare organizations surveyed are achieving positive ROI from mobile app investments. This success in ROI mirrors the expectation that the average number of healthcare apps developed by U.S. respondents over the next 12 months will grow 56 percent from nine to 14. European respondents developed an average of 13 apps and expect that number will grow by 31 percent to 17 apps in the next 12 months, according to the data.

But, while respondents are looking on average to develop 36 percent more apps in the next 12 months, they are only planning to increase their budget 15.5 percent to support this—and that can include the need to maintain and update existing apps. “This disparity between investment growth and desired app volumes may not be achieved by developing mobile apps as one-off projects. Rather a modern platform-based approach that supports agile development and modern API-based architecture can help increase developer efficiency, reduce development costs, and support the increasing demand for mobile apps,” the researchers stated.

What’s more, the survey found that mobile apps are currently provided primarily for doctors (59 percent), patients/members (55 percent), and technicians (44 percent) by U. S. respondents and are currently provided primarily for pharmaceutical research development staff (53 percent), followed by patients/members (46 percent) and doctors (43 percent) by European respondents.

The main drivers of mobile app development are:

  • Business/internal demand for more productivity (63 percent U.S. respondents and 60 percent European respondents)
  • Healthcare provider demand for better patient engagement and care (60 percent U.S. respondents and 57 percent European respondents)
  • External/member/patient demand for mobile apps (56 percent U.S. respondents and 43 percent European respondents)

Regarding challenges, nearly all organizations surveyed (98 percent) experience challenges when implementing mobile solutions, including security, cost, regulatory and compliance issues, and users/patient/customer adoption. Security is the most dominant business concern; 30 percent of U.S. respondents reported that their primary security concern is data encryption from device back-end systems, and 29 percent of U.S. respondents reported that their greatest security concern is end-to-end HIPAA compliance.

Further, nearly all (97 percent) respondents said they experience technical challenges when deploying their organization’s mobile apps. In the U.S., 29 percent of respondents listed back-end integration to healthcare systems as the biggest technical challenge, followed by securing access to data at 27 percent. In Europe, 33 percent of respondents reported their greatest technical challenge was securing access to data, followed by deployment of app code at 21 percent. Other challenges identified by both U.S. and European respondents include scaling (10 percent) and app life cycle management (eight percent).

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