Mobile technologies will be more important to health organizations in 2009 than they were in 2008, for 8 in 10 health executives. Motorola has published the 2009 Enterprise Mobility Barometer for the health care industry, and the top line message is health mobility is in demand.

Underlying mobility in health are the key investment areas for health providers in 2009: electronic health records (EHR), computerized physician order entry (CPOE), and medication administration to both streamline processes and reduce medication errors.

Mobility in health apps relates to three aspects of health care: mobilizing the enterprise itself; freeing workers from immobile techs (think: PCs at nursing stations); and, improving decision making at the point of care.

Motorola calculated that worker productivity improves with the adoption of key mobile applications, adding 39 minutes per worker per day.

The key benefits to mobility in health, according to Motorola, are:

  • Reduced manual errors
  • Increased order fulfillment accuracy
  • Increased productivity
  • Increased accuracy in compliance, quality reporting and regulatory requirements.

Some of the major challenges in adopting mobility in health care are:

  • Security concerns
  • Cost of hardware
  • Cost of software, integration, service and support
  • Difficulties integrating mobile apps and the existing infrastructure
  • Interference and performance problems.

Health Populi’s Hot Points: The benefits of mobility in our daily life are clear, and these are translating into health care. Just browse through the daily-growing list of health apps in the iTunes Store, and you get a quick sense of the infinite variety and permutations of useful tasks that can be done on-the-move in health.

While the benefits seem very clear, the challenges need addressing. Costs can be managed through innovative pricing, SaaS, and milestone-reaching arrangements. The issues of security and integration are deal-breakers or -makers in health.