“Power to the Patient: How Mobile Technology is Transforming Healthcare,” sponsored by SAP, explores the role of mobile devices across the healthcare industry, from personal fitness and smoking cessation to applications in clinical and pharmaceutical settings.
These technologies can improve care for people living in the developed or developing world—in the US, for instance, reaching underserved communities in rural Arizona; or in Kenya facilitating better, closer monitoring of patients with HIV.
In a survey for the report, 79% of healthcare executives say that mobile technologies are providing education and information. In five years, 50% predict that mobile health will enable patients to proactively participate in their own care, and lower costs.
Mobile health also poses opportunities for industry. The report found that leading global companies including Google, Apple, AT&T, Verizon, Intel, Facebook and Microsoft are all exploring mobile health as a high priority area for business growth.
Privacy, however, remains one of the key concerns of implementing this new technology. Nearly half (49%) of EIU survey respondents think consumer wariness about privacy violations could be a stumbling block for adoption, while just over half (51%) say data privacy risks are their biggest concern. Meanwhile 53% of executives fear that people may misinterpret their data and make poor decisions.
“At a time when health systems around the world are struggling to meet demand, mobile technologies have enormous potential,” Frieda Klotz, said the report’s editor. “Not only can they enable health workers to reach marginal communities; they also provide individuals with more data about, and control over, their health. But with healthcare in particular, privacy concerns are an important part of the equation.”