By Parul Darbari
Providing cost effective and efficient health care is, and remains, one of the most pressing challenges facing our nation. Health care has a long way to catch up with other industries in terms of exploiting the new technologies. From just documenting expenses to tracking consumer behavior from just about anywhere in the U.S., smartphone applications (apps) have changed the way many businesses operate. Now, more industries are turning to these apps to enhance the way customers interact with their products and services. This paper explores the challenges of developing apps for health care industry and how can different sectors of the health care benefit from it. Keywords: IT, Apps, HIT, EHR, Healthcare Exchange,
Information technology(IT) has made its impact in every aspect of our daily lives, all industries are now in some ways benefitting and implementing IT solutions to improve their quality of service. IT in health care means , “Health information technology (HIT) which means an information system for healthcare is defined as “Health information technology provides the umbrella framework to describe the comprehensive management of health information across computerized systems and its secure exchange between consumers, providers, government and quality entities, and insurers. Health information technology (HIT) is in general increasingly viewed as the most promising tool for improving the overall quality, safety and efficiency of the health delivery system” (Chaudhry et al., 2006). Having a health care information system will make the health information easily and securely available to those who require it. HIT is making the health care system more efficient and reduce paperwork for patients and doctors, expand access to affordable care and build a healthier future for the nation. For example, the Inpatient Computerized Physician Order Entry Systems, Electronic Health Records (EHR),Clinical Decision Support System (CDSS) , etc. have proved how beneficial technology can be for the health industry.(Appendix A) One of the latest technological inventions is that of smart phones, these are cellular phones with smart technology. The smartphones are loaded with variety of features to explore and exploit, from simple word processor to hi-tech camera and videos to social networking and using diagnostic tools , the possibilities are endless. Smartphones are used for increasing productivity and quality of service in business. According to a study by ComScore, over 45.5 million people in the United States owned smartphones in 2010 out of 234 million total subscribers and by 2011 , 48% of the subscribers in US and Europe will have an internet ready phone. (CamScore) (Appendix B) Smartphones apps not only help businesses improve productivity but can also improve the way customers interact with the product. With such increasing market, it is only true that using smart phones for offering health care services will reap greater benefits. 3. Apps for Health Care
“Medical informatics and healthcare applications have been devoted to the study and implementation of structures to improve communication, understanding and management of medical information and promote public health. Their main objective is the extraction, storage and manipulation of data and information and the development of tools and platforms that apply knowledge in the decision-making process, at the time and place that a decision has to be made.” (Bichindaritz, 2010) Healthcare sector comprises of hospitals, physicians, pharmacies and insurance companies and then there are the consumers, the public that makes use of these sectors. When we look at the information exchange between the consumers and the providers we see that most of it is still done in a traditional way. Developing an app for use in health care industry will revolutionize the way information is exchanged...