Tag Archives: healthcare mobile app development

Smartphone Users Will Have At-least One Health App By 2015

Nowadays more and more consumers are using health applications. Based on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, approximately 500 million smartphone users will use at least one health-care application by 2015. According to IMS Health, a health-care performance information group located in the city of Danbury, Connecticut, there are over 40,000 health and fitness applications available in the market. Many of these applications are prepared for doctors and rest are for the consumers. The applications not only saves time and are cost effective but also comes with easy-to-use guide.

healthcare mobile app development

In case you struggle taking care of an ear infection or of a strange rash, you usually visit to a doctor’s clinic and additionally time out of your job, if you’re working away from home. But if you have an application related to such problems, you can simply snap an image of your rash or ear canal, and send that to your physician. For an example CellScope Oto and application having an attachment which allows you to switch your iPhone to an otoscope. The tool doctors frequently use to look at the interior of an ear canal. As per Erik Douglas, Co-Founder and Chief Executive of CellScope has stated that ear infections had been a high reason behind visits to a doctor for your child, now Oto device could help in removing unnecessary appointments. A variety of applications and online services nowadays enables you to correspond with your skin specialist by simply taking an image of the rash or mole and sending it electronically. The concept behind an innovative variety of applications and devices which progressively put health tools within the hands of consumers.

According to Ceci Connelly, Managing Director at Health Research Institute, consumers are comfortable and progressively using walk-in health centers for little health problems and they also see at-home electronic tools so far an additional standard of convenience. The development of do-it-yourself examinations and tests belongs to a move in healthcare in the direction of consumer involvement which started with online health information websites and it is quickly moving at improvement in mobile technologies. The founder of the Center for Connected Health, Joseph C. Kvedar mentioned that during these initial phases of mobile health tools, physicians may be most comfortable making use of them to speed up follow-up treatment, or even deal with issues having a low volume of risk, For example, the patient who does well within a treatment for acne could possibly send images and reply a couple of questions for the skin specialist to feel comfortable suggesting the patient to carry on a plan for treatment without an in-person examination. Dr. Robert L Quillin from Webster, Texas is a pediatrician has used Cell Scope’s Oto for months during its testing stage. He explained, in the shape of a regular otoscope, it fits on the phone’s camera, that has plastic tip which is put into the patient’s ear, and functions the phone camera to take the snap or make a video clip of the ear canal and eardrum. He could show the image to the patient instantly. He explained, a doctor or nurse practitioner should understand the picture, create a diagnosis and recommend the essential treatment. It also helps in teaching about ear infections to medical students, he said.

Health and fitness apps became progressively common in recent times. Some of the applications which physicians recommend their patients such as Diabetes App for patients with diabetes; Diabetes in Check for type 2 diabetes; Glucose Companion for blood sugar and weight tracker; Blood Pressure Monitor – Family Lite for patients to monitor their blood pressure and weight; HeartWise Blood Pressure Tracker for recording blood pressure, resting heart rate, and weight; Tweetwhatyoueat for weight loss; iPregnancy for my pregnant patients. There are many more applications which doctors recommend their patients.

You can hire developers from top healthcare mobile app development companies in India who can help you build your healthcare applications within allocated budgets and time schedules.

We provide mobile health app development services. If you would like to hire healthcare software developers, please get in touch with us at Mindfire Solutions.

What Impedes Ubiquitous Adoption of Health IT?

Many reports have highlighted how a clinic can avail several benefits by adopting personal health record (PHR) systems. The electronic health records (EHRs) will provide a secure and private environment to patients to access, update and share their health information. At the same time, the systems will further make it easier for physicians to instantly access information about a patient’s health and medical history. Thus, they can provide more manage a patient’s record more efficiently, while reducing the chances of medical orders. However, there are several barriers that affect the ubiquitous adoption of health IT in a negative way.

iphone medical app developers

7 Barriers that Affect the Ubiquitous Adoption of Health IT Systems

1) Required Training: A physician can avail many benefits by adopting health IT systems. But he needs to put some amount of time and effort to become familiar with the system, and implement it properly. At the same time, the physician must train his colleagues and staff about the features and capabilities of the system. But many physicians lack time to become familiar with an EHR system and avail all its features.

2) Initial Investment: Each clinic has to invest some amount of funds to create and support its own IT structure. However, it also has option to avail the health IT services from external vendors. The initial cost will include the expensed related to purchase, coordination, monitoring, upgrading and governance. The small and medium sized clinics often do not have adequate IT budgets. So the cost of IT health system adoption also impacts its ubiquitous adoption.

3) Level of Compute Skills Needed: Many physicians even find it difficult to use PHR systems in real time. Many system providers also develop complex systems to complement the varying needs of individual clinics. So along with the physician, his colleagues also need to possess the computer and typing skills required to listen to a patient’s complains, assess its medical relevancy, and type the details at a time. Also, the staff must be familiar with the EHR application interface to simultaneously perform several activities.

4) Cluttered and Restricted Workspaces: A clinic also requires adequate space and infrastructure to accommodate the computers. As the staff has to type the information while listening to the patient, it becomes essential to place the computer in private rooms. Further, the clinic has to decide the most appropriate location to place the server and other system. On the whole, the cluttered workspace and insufficient physical space can also affect the health IT adoption rate.

5) Complexity of the System: Each physician wants to pick an EHR system that complements its needs over a longer period of time. That is why; often physicians opt for complex systems that provide multiple screens and navigation options. The complex features, however, require physicians to learn the system completely to take notes while listening to a patient’s complains. But a number of surveys have highlighted that the physicians find it a daunting challenge to operate the HER system without disrupting the clinical encounter. Many physicians even stop using the system to optimize the clinical encounter.

6) Technical Support: Each clinic requires technical support to create and maintain an IT infrastructure. So it expects the vendor to provide constant support the initial days, and afterward. The support staff also needs to be helpful and knowledgeable enough to provide the required support without causing any delay. However, many physicians feel that the support staffs deployed by the vendors are not available 24 hours a day. The lack of technical support during holidays and off-hours also affects the health IT adoption rate.

7) Problem with Health IT Vendors: The lack of adequate training and technical support for external vendors also contribute towards ubiquitous adoption of health IT. Many physicians hesitate to adopt EHR systems due to the quality of EHR system vendors. As the products are relatively new in the marketplace, physicians often feel that they will incur losses by choosing systems provided by unreliable companies. The unreliable vendors will not further provide the service and support required to avail the benefits of EHR system in the longer run. So the vendors must take several initiatives to win the trust of clients, and encourage them to invest in health IT solutions.

The health IT system providers must address these issues to encourage more and more clinics to adopt health IT systems. At the same time, they must build web-based PHR systems to overcome the factors that divide health IT adoption.

You can hire developers from top healthcare mobile app development companies in India who can help you build your healthcare applications within allocated budgets and time schedules.

We provide mobile healthcare application development services. If you would like to know more about the expertise of our certified iPhone medical app developers, please get in touch with us at Mindfire Solutions.

Will Mobile Technology End Healthcare Disparities?

The introduction of mobile technology has brought in revolutionary changes in every realm of our lives. How can health care be left behind? Indeed, this new technology resulted in various innovations that have decreased and in some cases, even ended a lot of disparities that have previously plagued this particular industry.

Statistics have categorically pinpointed that with the advent of mobile technology, access to various types of health care services have vastly improved. Besides, the cost involved has decreased substantially though there are still a lot of things that can be done to fully utilize this technology for bringing various health care disparities.

healthcare mobile app developmentIntroduction of this particular type of knowhow already has benefited the rural as well as underserved populations of various countries, especially the developing ones. Thanks to this knowledge, this particular sect of the population can now have access to urban specialists in case of a medical emergency at any time of day or night and this helps immensely in saving life. Moreover, this know how is further likely to reduce inefficiencies as well as errors in prescribing drugs and conduction of various medical tests.

Thus, medical practitioners get immense help, especially while remotely monitoring patients who are suffering from different types of chronic illnesses. The know-how also helps them to remind their patients of appointments and taking medicines as prescribed. Thus, it can well be stated at this juncture that with the introduction of mobile technology, people access to various technologies dramatically has eased, thereby narrowing down the so called “digital divide”, which has prevailed for so many years and in years to come, it is likely to be pushed to the brink of elimination.

As people’s access to the Internet along with web-enhanced tools has expanded, governments of countries all around the world are working in sync with various communities to enhance the use of health–related IT services for improvement of overall health.

Experts who are associated with research on how mobile technology can improve the patient outcome by ending the disparities, have expressed hope that though there are miles to go, still the start is already looking a lot promising.

Increased and a systematic use of this technology has also helped the policy makers in taking better and more stable decisions regarding health care – a fact that is already helping in a drastic reduction of cost related to medical treatment. An exhilarating amount of opportunities that this technology had brought in, is improving the patient experience by controlling the costs involved.

The technology has also helped to do a lot of elaborate research and data analysis, for answering basic questions, regarding health care, thereby reducing the disparities by a significant extent. It is also likely to further increase the use of various offshore resources in order to meet the specific needs of each and every individual. This, in turn, would eliminate any disparity whatsoever that exists mainly due to the location as well as access to the specialty medical service providers.

While this particular function is illustrated by the growing popularity of the telemedicine for increasing access to the medical practitioners from the remote areas, this also demonstrates the use of some other basic tools of communication like automated video, voice call center mechanisms. These tools ensure that a particular family has timely access to expert medical interpreters at a certain hospital or medical center at the earliest at the hour or need.

Besides, social networking that the modern mobile technology has come up with provides patients and their families all the relevant information that comes in handy when it comes to dealing with emergency situations.

So this can surely be said that the rural areas, which have fewer numbers of medical personnel per capita, are being benefitted immensely from modern mobile technology. This is because it allows patients from these rural areas, to have easy as well as quick access to doctors located in the urban areas, through various high tech means like video conferencing and other types of remote monitoring technologies. This has naturally resulted in the elimination of the disparities in the medical field to a large extent.

You can hire developers from top healthcare mobile app development companies in India who can help you build your healthcare applications within allocated budgets and time schedules.

We provide mobile health app development services. If you would like to know more about the expertise of our certified mobile medical app developers, please get in touch with us at Mindfire Solutions.

Ethical considerations for Physicians?

The desire and need to have a better healthcare delivery system has necessitated implementation of a number of regulatory mandates and adoption of healthcare IT. This requires physicians to make considerable amount of investment in their clinical setups to obtain the required level operational efficiency and subsequently to avoid the risk of punitive actions by the government in the event of failure in compliance. All this has resulted in making the existence of independent medical setups very tough. The jobs of physicians now go beyond just patient care and involve understanding the implications of regulatory norms and changing their working styles so as to abide by them. In order to avoid the pain of dealing with so many factors, which are generally looked upon as nothing by hindrance to their core work of providing care, and risk profitability, physicians are actively getting into agreements with larger provider setups and picking up a payment method with suits their deal. It helps them avoid to a large extent the headache of keeping their clinical setups updated with evolving regulatory norms and making sizable investment in healthcare IT. All this is automatically taken care of by the larger organization they enter into a contract with. Physicians thus have all their energies to focus on their primary area of work and draw financial benefits based on the agreement they hold. This is where there is a need for them to be proactive and take into account ethical concerns around those financials incentives, offered as a part of financial arrangements, which influence their clinical decision making.

healthcare software developmentCapitation is a popular payment arrangement model, comes in different variants and can potentially result in offering cost effective and efficient care. However, there is a lot of scope for conflict in such systems too. The onus lies on physicians to guard against those. It starts right from the time they are about to get into one such agreement. Two factors which they should never compromise on are the quality of care and the range of services they offer. While arriving at a rate-of-capitation the existing conditions of enrolled patients should also be taken into account. While evaluating plans, they should look at the size of the plan and the duration; both of which should be large to bring in more predictability. Physicians generally get concerned when treatment expenses go beyond predictable limits. It has a possibility of influencing their behavior since outcome generally results in a financial loss for them. Stop-loss provides a good option to handle such situations. Finally, the sanctity of a physician-patient relationship needs to be kept intact. Although it is an obligation on the part of the physicians to consider and meet the broader needs of a patient population, in order to achieve it, they have to focus their energies into every one-to-one relationship that they share with their patients. Any financial reimbursement system which acts as an impediment to this has to be avoided or worked around at any cost.

Health plans generally tend to set expectations for physicians which are not always easy to meet. For e.g. it could be in the form of a steep utilization rate which is difficult to achieve or making physician payment dependent on so many factors that it is next to impossible to get a good deal without affecting clinical behavior. All health plans have financial incentives. Physicians should keep a few things in mind before entering into a contract with any plan:

  • large incentives generally make it difficult for physicians to turn down but more often than not require them to make commensurate compromises on clinical standards
  • show more preference towards those types of incentives which are applied across broad physician groups
  • advocate increase in the time-duration over which incentives get determined. It helps in negating the impact of fluctuations in utilization
  • prefer those plans which have a large pool of patients
  • avoid agreeing to a tiered system of incentive/penalty payout
  • advocate for a stop-loss provision as a solution to handle outliers
  • ensure that patients are informed about financial incentives which could affect the level-of-care that they receive.

Physicians should always urge for incentive programs which do not just primarily focus on utilization, efficiency and cost reduction. On the contrary, they should emphasize on those which lay importance to quality-of-care and patient satisfaction as well. Physicians ought to be given flexibility to accommodate the varying needs of patients. No incentive plans should tempt them towards selectively treating healthier people and avoiding the high-risk ones in order to improve their own and their groups’ chances of gaining financially. Creating custom solutions for your healthcare practice can help you immensely. Healthcare software development companies can assist you in this.

We provide healthcare software maintenance services for physicians and clinics. If you would like to hire healthcare software developers from us, we would be glad to assist you at Mindfire Solutions.

The essence of Value-Based Care

healthcare software development servicesThat healthcare is changing at a fast pace is a reality all the stakeholders are coming to terms with. Irrespective of their preferences, they are left without a choice but to adapt. The transition taking place is evolving it from being proficiency-based art to a data-driven science. Physicians are shifting from being freelancers to being employed by hospitals. The delivery methods are changing from being one-size-fits-all community hospitals to vast hospital networks which are organized around centers of excellence. There is however, a certain level of criticism from the provider community towards this demand for change – almost to the extent of being reluctant to accept it. This could well be the result of their realization that the shift will finally result in better care outcomes for patient and less inflow of money for them. This is where the fraternity needs to take a step back and look at what lies at the core of their profession – that of helping people overcome their health related ailments. One cannot deny the fact that the profession has a certain degree of nobility attached to it. As much as it is important for physicians to gain financially, the overriding factor which draws people to take up this profession is expected to be a deep desire to serve humanity by curing people of their health related problems. Infact the ones who have realized it and connect to it are eagerly looking forward to days where they would have satisfied patients with lower expenses and they would be proud of their work. The tension which now exists between patients and physicians does not please the majority of the people in the profession and they would expect the new model to give way to trust and happiness for the providers. This is not to say that physicians are expected to lead lives of monks with no desire to gain financially from their services but to let money play the most important role in the system would be going against the core tenets of the profession.

In order to emphasize on this shift in focus from a volume to a value based care, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) incorporated value-based purchasing rules which tied acute care Medicare reimbursement of hospitals to quality performance starting in the year 2012. To give this approach a push, 1% of the payments under Medicare for 2012 was put aside and later given away as bonuses to those hospitals which scored above a certain score in some identified measures. Patient satisfaction was the determining factor for about 30% of the incentive payments while the rest 70% was based upon improved clinical outcomes. Noticing the positive difference the approach brought about, a further modification was brought in that resulted in enhancing the payment under the hospital value-based purchasing program (VBP) starting October of 2013. As per the new rule, there was an increase in the payment rates to general acute care hospitals by 0.9 percent, after allowing for other payment and regulatory changes. Although it was suppose to result in increasing the Medicare spending by approximately 175 million, its real benefit was the thrust it was expected to provide towards the adoption of a value based model. There are also penalties in place for hospitals for excess readmission for certain ailments like heart attack, heart failure and pneumonia unless they are planned ones. Also, moving forward there are likely to be more such rules in place to penalize hospitals for conditions acquired during the course of treatment. These steps are intended to bring about more focus towards infection control and prevention.

As much as the reasons appear compelling for moving to a value-based model, early experiments have shown mixed results. The success of value-based approach is hinged on making everything measurable and quantifiable and this is precisely where the hurdles start. Each patient is unique and so the impact of the same disease on a population is not going to be similar. With some patients, things might get a bit more complex resulting in higher expenses. Regardless of whatever incentives are created to make it move faster, a complete shift to this new model will take time. This is going to be driven primarily by the need to bring about some changes in the overall setup. For instance, it has to first and foremost start with getting the buy-in from physicians who are willing to embrace this approach. Furthermore, a successful transition from volume to value will require investment in advanced analytics and clinical information to evaluate performance data, as well as holding all stakeholders – clinicians, staff and patients, accountable for quality improvements.

We provide healthcare application testing & healthcare software development services. If you would like to speak to one of our certified software developers, please reach out to us at Mindfire Solutions.