Based on recent research, consumers are ready for new mobile health solutions – but the same can’t necessarily be said about the healthcare industry. Widespread adoption of mobile technology in health care (often referred to as “mHealth”) is now up to the industry. This is true both in emerging and in developed markets.
Especially in emerging markets, consumers have now high expectations for medical mobile websites. In developing economies, patients perceive mobile health technology as a way to increase access to healthcare, while in developed countries consumers hope that mobile health will improve the convenience, cost and quality of healthcare. Besides the customers, technological solutions are also ready for more rapid adoption.
So if the consumers are ready, the technology is developed enough and the potential benefits of mobile healthcare technology are obvious, what then brakes mobile health’s adoption? Dr. David Levy, MD, from the Global Healthcare Leader, says that the main barriers are systemic to healthcare and inherent resistance to change. Inherent to change or no, Levy thinks that mobile health is the future of healthcare and creates deeply integrated, faster, less expensive and far more customer-focused solutions.
Based on a survey of doctors and consumers, the problem with mHealth solutions is that even though they offer exciting possibilities, there are too few proven business models that work in practice. Many doctors are also worried that mobile health will make patients too independent (though the idea of mHealth solutions is to make communication between patients and doctors more efficient and cheaper to both, so it actually increases the communication and dependency between the two parties). To overcome the healthcare’s silent resistance to change, the industry innovators should concentrate more on effective customer-focused solutions that add value for health organizations and patient quality of life than implementing brand new technology.