The following article popped up a few days ago.
- Article by: BRIDGET CAREY , McClatchy Newspapers
- Updated: May 25, 2011 - 8:59 AM
MIAMI - When Dr. Jose Soler got a late-night call about a critically ill patient, he grabbed his iPad and checked the results of the electrocardiogram test that just had been administered. Thanks to an app that zooms within half a millimeter of every heartbeat rhythm variation, Soler made a diagnosis within two minutes.
Before the Northwest Medical Center cardiologist began using the AirStrip Cardiology mobile application, he had to wait for a nurse to fax him a printout or log into a computer to load the data in PDF format, which was often hard to read.
"Having the ability to get that information on your iPhone to make a quick decision versus looking for a fax machine -- it just changed the paradigm," Soler said.
Soler is among 40 cardiologists at HCA East Florida Hospitals who are the world's first physicians to incorporate the EKG-reading app into their practices. Doctors at three HCA hospitals began using it recently on their personal iPads and iPhones.
Increasingly, doctors are using mobile apps to access patient information. Hard data is scarce. For instance, the annual market for mobile monitoring devices is estimated to be a $7.7 billion to $43 billion industry, as cited by a PricewaterhouseCoopers report, "Healthcare Unwired," released in September 2010.
But the trend is clear.
"This level of adoption is unprecedented. Things are changing very quickly," said health care innovation analyst Chris Wasden of PricewaterhouseCoopers.
10,000 health care apps
According to a Manhattan Research study released this month, 75 percent of U.S. physicians own some form of Apple mobile device, whether it's an iPad, iPhone or iPod. The iPhone is the top smartphone choice for doctors, according to the study. About 30 percent have an iPad, and another 28 percent say they plan to buy one within six months.
Apple's popularity, says the study, is largely driven by the increasing number of apps providing access to electronic medical records.
In the past, the health care industry was often behind the curve when it came to work-management technology, he said. But now, hospital staff can't keep up with physicians' demands for patient data access via mobile devices.
"Mobile health technology is the first information technology that improves their workflow to allow them to practice medicine in a different way," Wasden said.
Lots more here:
Really all that can be said is as the ubiquity of 3 and 4G wireless networks improves we are going to see increasing use of mobile data access devices to connect to all sorts of clinical applications. I suspect over time this will transform the way much clinical work actually gets undertaken.
An exciting time indeed!