Article | December 18, 2012

mHealth Making An Impact On Global Healthcare Technology

Mobile Healthcare Technology and Solutions Projected to Reach $23B in the Next Five Years

Mobile technology has had a profound impact on every day consumer life over the last decade, and it is growing even further across vertical markets such as Retail and Education to impact daily activities even more. As mobile technology continues to grow, it is now intersecting with the ever-expanding healthcare market, as needs across both these sectors play an increasing role in many people’s lives.

These mobile healthcare solutions deliver effective, scalable and affordable care outside the four walls of the medical facility. In fact, mobile health technology, or mHealth, is currently projected to be worth more than $23 billion worldwide by 2017, according to a recent survey by GSMA. This rapidly expanding sector will potentially reach more than $6.5B in North America alone, with the United States encompassing nearly a quarter of all global mHealth at $5.9B.

Patients are leading this growth in mHealth as mobile technology allows them to seek better healthcare information more efficiently than ever. Many patients believe mobile apps and technology will make healthcare more convenient and even help improve quality of care. Using mobile phones to learn about and monitor their own wellness, contacting their providers using mobile or other devices, and accessing health care call centers, advice lines and emergency services are just a few ways consumers are putting mHealth to use.

However, the projected development of mHealth in the coming years will not happen without some growing pains. Like any new technology, early adopters can be few and far between, with the healthcare industry proving  conservative and resistant to change. Doctors can be a particular challenge to convince of the need for mHealth applications, despite the fact that 80% of doctors already use smartphones and medical apps, and are more than two and half times as likely to own a tablet than other consumers, according to research in mHealthWatch from Float Mobile Learning.

Providers tend to focus on mHealth as an additional outlet for patient communication, with more potential to monitor patients’ conditions and compliance with prescribed treatments, as well as providing remote access to electronic health records (EHR). Doctors worry that mHealth will make patients “too independent,” says a new report from PWC, with only 27% of doctors surveyed actively encouraging patients to use mHealth technology. Medical professional want to see improved care and better outcomes, easier access to care, and reduced administrative tasks to make more time for patient-centered care before truly committing to mHealth initiatives.

With this divide between patient and provider adoption in mHealth technologies, where do solutions providers stand? There is still a great amount of opportunity for mHealth solutions in the healthcare sector, provided VARs do their research and work to meet the evolving needs of their medical customers. Providers see the most promise in administrative communications, patient data monitoring, tracking drug adherence, and text-based consultations, and there are any number of technology solutions available to facilitate one or more of these activities. The main challenge for healthcare VARs is to create truly complete solutions that focus on both payers and providers while reinforcing a philosophy of patient-centered care.

These solutions should provide high levels of interoperability, such as handheld mobile computers and smartphone add-ons that help providers securely share data across facilities and monitor patients for better in-home aftercare. Integration is also a major factor for mHealth, and solutions need to fit seamlessly into existing workflows to prevent redundancy and improve efficiency across all levels of the organization. Mobile scanners and printers that plug into current systems for instant usability offer greater accountability and accuracy. Finally, mobile solutions that provide better patient intelligence will help providers make the transition to mHealth programs, improving productivity by offering real-time problem solving. Technologies that speed registration, coding and checkout processes without remaining tethered to a single station can help reduce wait times and keep costs under control.

With all the healthcare vertical encompasses, VARs need a partner to help focus on providing true solutions for mHealth and beyond—BlueStar Healthcare can help resellers see a greater solutions impact and realize more value in return. Our solutions specialists have the industry insight and technology expertise to help you enter the market or grow your current presence. From exclusive Healthcare College seminars as part of the VARTECH Educational series, to our specialty Healthcare flipbook with solutions tailored to meet multiple health and wellness applications, BlueStar can help you find the right solutions to help your health care customers realize their mobile potential and engage in the mHealth opportunities providers expect and patients demand. Contact a Healthcare Solutions  specialist for more information on mHealth solutions today!

BlueStar is the leading global distributor of solutions-based ADC, Mobility, Point-of-Sale, RFID, Digital Signage, and Security solutions. BlueStar works exclusively with value-added resellers, providing them with complete solutions, business development and marketing support. The company brings unequaled expertise to the market, offers award-winning technical support and is an authorized service center for a growing number of manufacturers. BlueStar is the exclusive distributor for the In-a-Box Solutions Series, delivering hardware, software and critical accessories in one bundle with technology solutions across all verticals. For more information, please contact BlueStar at 1-800-354-9776 or visit