Healthcare website development and mobile app designing services go hand in hand, since mHealth is the buzzword now. Times have changed, and the need for more accessible round-the-clock healthcare has driven the industry to new out-of-the-box solutions. Smartphones and tablets have been found to be quite effective in leveraging better patient care.
Mobile Health is the Present and the Future
mHealth, or mobile health, refers to the administration of healthcare through smartphones, tablets or other remote devices. This is similar to telehealth. Not only is health information disseminated for theoretical or practical purposes, through mobile or other wireless devices, but actual healthcare is administered through virtual consultations.
It has already begun, and it could well be the future of patient care.
This is not surprising as surveys show that smartphones are being used for nearly any service under the sun, be it banking, gaming, entertainment, or even legal services. Mobile app development is lucrative business these days and it is only natural that people expect a certain level of healthcare to be administered through their smartphones.
Smartphones as Gateways to Health
With a 2015 Pew Research Center study revealing that 64% of Americans own and use smartphones regularly, your practice could be significantly missing out if it is not ready to leverage the benefits of this. If you arenâ€™t fully convinced how this translates to healthcare, here are more stats to convince you. A 2014 research by IHS Technology revealed that the number of people using telehealth services in the nation is predicted to reach 7 million by 2018 from around 350,000 in 2013.
Nearly two-thirds of these smartphone users prefer searching for medical advice through online channels rather than making a physical visit to a healthcare professional, according to a 2013 survey by FICO. The same survey also indicated that 80% of people using smartphones would find it better to interact with healthcare providers with their mobile device. A 2014 Pew Research survey revealed that 62% of smartphone users had used it to search for health information regarding some condition in 2013. It is a well known fact that the mainline healthcare industry has been in the sidelines in embracing technological advancements, but that is soon changing. mHealth is becoming increasingly popular.
Virtual Appointments and Nurse Triage
Apart from searching for health conditions on the mobile, the other growing mhealth application is video appointments with doctors. Third party service providers arrange this by assigning doctors at random to patients when they call. This does sacrifice care quality, and the reason third party providers get involved is that physicians have not implemented this for their own regular patients. That forces patients to seek random physicians for video appointments.
Telehealth is combined with face-to-face physical care in a house call triage service offered by a New York-based company. A call brings a nurse to the home for collecting health information and vital signs. If required, the nurse helps in connecting to a doctor remotely. The service can be performed as a standalone or used by other practices and clinics which could reduce their burden.
This is an opportunity that your practice can tap into. If physicians and practices do not embrace this mobile appointment technology, they could be losing patients despite the quality concerns that exist with third party mobile consultation providers.
mHealth Offers Multiple Advantages
Healthcare website development services can design apps for this. Video consultation can be implemented to the existing workflow and can also help healthcare providers save time and money. Mobile health and telemedicine can be leveraged for maximum efficiency and can help in:
- Pre-operative as well as post-operative care
- Managing chronic diseases for patients
- Serving as follow up for other primary care appointments
- Emergency room follow-up
- Monitoring medication tolerance and side effects
- Monitoring PTSD and other such behavioral concerns
- Contributing to greater flexibility of care
- Improving care team access to the patients
- Serving the needs of patients having poor mobility
All these factors contribute to patient satisfaction, which reflects on the popularity and earnings of your practice. Moreover, frequent on-call consults are billable.
Appropriate Reimbursement Policies
Complementing this move towards technology, insurance providers do offer reimbursement policies that are more appropriate for such mobile consultations and telehealth solutions. The demand is there, and the reimbursement options are in place – so why should you keep yourself from implementing next generation technology and make the lives of patients better?
For 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has been moving the ACOs in the Medicare Shared Savings Program towards alternative models of payment. CMS also wishes 85% of fee-for-service Medicare payments to be transferred to value-based purchasing by 2016.
The environment is being modified to make mHealth a staple form of quality care. Healthcare website development services can be enlisted to ensure your practice makes its foray into this lucrative and potentially competitive arena.