By Jeanine Sterling, Principal Analyst, Frost & Sullivan
Today's healthcare providers are under immense pressure from patients, insurance firms, and the government. These constituencies are demanding quality care, lower costs, and quick compliance with regulatory requirements. Many providers have realized that mobile technology can help them meet every one of these expectations efficiently and cost-effectively. As a result, a new product category called mHealth - Mobile Healthcare - has been created.
This is heartening news. However, while mHealth solutions are in the process of revolutionizing the delivery and quality of patient care, they are also introducing serious information security risks. In the healthcare world, this vulnerability can have horrific repercussions. HIPAA violations, legal actions, and bad press going viral can quickly destroy years of building a successful business or operation. To prevent the theft and misuse of patient and provider data, end-to-end security and control of mobile communications is an absolute must.
Welcome to the 21st Century
The healthcare sector has never been known for being an early adopter of information technology. The typical barriers to implementing wireless solutions have included a lack of funding, an absence of expert technical personnel, or simply a case of "we're fine with what we've got" inertia. However, no matter what the objections to mobility have been in the past, they are falling away as everything wireless becomes more powerful, more affordable, and more user-friendly.