By Perry Price, CEO and Co-founder of Revation Systems
In the midst of today’s current digital transformation, recent advancements in technology are causing consumers’ expectations to shift. With new technology appearing everywhere, the healthcare industry is seeing an increase in at-home healthcare services and patient monitoring.
As mobile devices and wearable technology designed to help consumers take their health and wellness into their own hands become mainstream, healthcare is shifting from hospitals and clinics into patients’ homes. As a result, people can now keep tabs on their health without frequent clinic visits and, most importantly, can monitor their own health outside of the clinic with convenient mobile communications.
The ability to track and monitor healthcare through mobile devices and wearables is contributing largely to the trend of mHealth by creating instantaneous access to healthcare. Currently, mobile apps and wearable trackers allow patients to monitor heart rates, steps and sleep trends — and this is only the beginning.
Mobile healthcare is expanding rapidly. So much so that the industry is projected to reach $58.8 billion by 2020, according to a recent study by Statista analyzing that global market. So, what is the next big trend in mHealth?
As mobile technology innovations like smartphones and wearables continue to catch on, the independence of self-care is, perhaps, the most significant draw to the mHealth trend. Indicative of the appeal that mHealth has in terms of self-care, an IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics study found that consumer mHealth apps targeting wellness (i.e. fitness, lifestyle, nutrition) compose two-thirds of the space. And, just as wellness has become a major trend in today’s digital landscape, so has self-service.
Trending Now: Self-service
As digital transformation continues to spread, the notion of self-service — where consumers directly interact and communicate with businesses — is becoming more popular. Self-service options are now being offered by many businesses in an attempt to meet these shifting consumer preferences; for example, consumers’ ability to select a cashier or self-checkout line at many stores. This sense of control and timesaving ultimately leads to greater customer satisfaction.
As a result, companies expect to improve their level of service by providing consumers with less waiting time and preferred experiences. Today, consumers can “help themselves” — whether it’s by visiting an FAQ page on a retailer’s website or using webchat to communicate with a representative instantaneously. The self-service options that are becoming more popular today are not only meeting the self-service mindset of consumers, but are also enabling businesses to expand their level of service.
mHealth as a Catalyst in the Future of Patient Care
The widespread preference for self-service has accelerated the growth of mHealth. Patients have become frustrated with wait times at clinics to see providers for routine health visits. Many patients want to take care of routine health tasks without having to take the time away from work or other obligations to wait to see a provider. And those with chronic conditions are also turning to self-service as a more efficient way to monitor their conditions, eliminating the need for frequent trips to their provider’s office, which can be time-consuming and costly.
In fact, a recent Ericsson ConsumerLab report found that 2 out of 3 consumers say wearables that monitor and administer medication are important to better manage chronic ailments, leading to reduced office visits. The positive perception of wearables and mHealth by consumers is supporting better preventative care. The same report found that 62 percent of consumers agree that wearable devices put people in control of their own health. Advancements in mHealth technology coupled with the increasing desire for self-service has created a ripe environment in which self-care will continue to grow.
The Need for Increased Security and Network Reliability
According to the Ericsson Consumer and Industry Insight Report 2017, 42 percent of cross-industry decision makers expect devices that are connected to 5G networks to consume less power, and 41 percent expect 5G to provide higher speed, reliability and bandwidth. With mHealth gaining momentum, the future of healthcare is sure to hold more centralized data for patient self-care. At the same time, increased security and network reliability will remain a top priority. The increasing dependence on wearables and remote treatments will make 5G network capabilities essential to providing reliable and secure services.
In the end, it’s no mystery that the self-service trend is shifting entire industries. The question is: how can healthcare continue to respond in the most secure and engaging ways? To an extent, only time will tell, but mHealth will certainly be a driving force.
Perry Price, CEO / President and Co-founder
Perry Price brings a successful sales track record with high-growth technology and Fortune 500 companies to his work with Revation Systems. In his role of CEO / president, Price builds and grows the customer base, recruits qualified talent, and streamlines internal operations. Price utilizes his deep domain expertise in IP networking and communication applications, including telephony, unified communications, call-center technologies and messaging. He and the Revation team are dedicated to providing a secure, easy-to-use communications solution to industries such as healthcare and financial services.