In 2011, some 14 percent of adult Americans will use a mobile health app to manage their health, wellness, and chronic conditions, according to IDC. Why? “Demographics are accelerating this trend. Health reform will make these approaches even more important as the industry shifts to new delivery and reimbursement models,” IDC writes in its 2011 predictions report. The estimate is not at all outlandish, especially given that a recent Pew survey showed that already 9 percent of adult Americans are using mobile health apps to track or manage their health. (For more on mobile health apps, be sure to check out our latest apps report on the fastest growing and most successful smartphone health apps.)
Another analyst increasingly sees HIPAA as a challenge for mobile devices in medical environments.
“Formerly a toothless tiger,” Info-Tech’s Director of Research Mark Tauschek told Processor.com in a recent interview, “HIPAA now has some teeth, thanks to the HITECH (Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health) act.” The Processor.com article notes that “it is one thing to protect sensitive medical data in a data center which can only be accessed through onsite desktop computers or terminals… quite another to do so when doctors who travel daily among multiple hospitals and/or clinics carry personal mobile devices with them everywhere they go.”
Awareness about security issues with mobile devices is another issue, according to Lisa Gallagher, senior director for privacy and security at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS):
“Medical personnel often assume that if they’re handed a device, it’s OK. At the highest level, like doctors, they’re not aware. They just want the devices.”
According to Chilmark Research analyst Cora Sharma physicians do indeed want devices:
“By the end of this year, 22 percent of physicians will have iPads, and half of doctors will have them within two years,” Sharma said. “As of early November, 18 percent of the 700,000 physicians in the United States were using iPads.”
More from the Processor.com article