Advancements in technology are at the heart of improved healthcare outcomes. Two such advancements that are currently in the spotlight deal with improved data management and mobile computing.
Electronic records are pervasive today. Twothirds (69%) of US primary care physicians reported using EMRs in 2012 a remarkable rise of 50% from 2009, while the EMR adoption rates shot up by 90% in Australia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway and the UK, according to a survey of primary care doctors in ten countries by the Commonwealth Fund.
However, in many cases health records are still stuck in age old data management infrastructures. Crucial advances in the way data is stored and exchanged within and outside the organisation is changing this, and holds promise to improve patient diagnosis and efficiency of treatment.
On the front end of healthcare provision, mobile devices are empowering physicians and patients with access to data on the go. Adoption is already on the rise thanks to rise in smartphone take up and related application. 'mHealth' applications are expected to predominantly be distributed through traditional healthcare channels. According to The Mobile Health Market Report 2010-2015 - The Impact of Smartphone Applications survey, 53% of the respondents believe that currently app stores are the best distribution channels followed only by healthcare websites (49%).
The mobile revolution has transformed industries such as banking already, and holds similar promise for healthcare. AS you will read in the issue, it is becoming increasingly clear that patients are receptive to mHealth. In the EIU mHealth study, physicians and providers in China, India and the USA were asked what impact they expect mHealth would have on the current practice of medicine. Chinese providers also expected mHealth to have the most profound impact across the board, followed by India.
In this special issue of Asian Hospital & Healthcare Management, Jeanette C Schreiber from the College of Medicine, University of Central Florida, USA says that transforming healthcare will require a broad, interoperable Health IT system allowing healthcare providers to share and use patient data reliably and securely. Christopher Wasden and Rana Mehta from PricewaterhouseCoopers says that standards in IT, care delivery, payment and regulation must evolve more rapidly for mHealth to realise its full potential as one of the most disruptive movements in healthcare today. The issue also covers articles from industry experts focusing on new opportunities, issues and challenges facing healthcare IT.
Hope you enjoy reading the magazine. I thank all the authors for their support and contribution in making this issue possible.