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Mhealth still has work to do before it is truly practical in a clinical environment

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MHealth Care IndustryPanelists from a hospital forum have agreed that there is still progress needed before the devices can be integrated.

According to a panel at the Hospital Cloud Forum from the Information Management Network last week, doctors still need to be able to find a way to integrate mhealth and the data available through those systems into clinical care.

The devices that would be used would be connected to the cloud and would bring physicians and patient data together.

Mhealth could provide a very important way to bring the data regarding a patient’s current health and medical history to the fingertips of a doctor, according to the Maimonides Medical Center senior vice president and chief medical informatics officer, Dr. Steven J. Davidson, from Brooklyn, New York. He said that “I’d like to offer a vision as a longtime clinician that has talked to lots of patients over the years that the cloud is where patients and physicians are going to meet.”

Many panel members saw the value of giving doctors access to virtualized services through mhealth technology.

According to senior information and communications technology strategist and architect at Intel, Matthew Taylor, giving physicians direct access to mhealth services by way of mobile devices would give the entire healthcare industry a way to shrink the number of readmissions, and avoid unnecessary admissions from the very start.

At the same time, however, Chilmark Research analyst, John Moore, who was also the panel’s moderator, pointed out that the adoption of electronic health records is likely a greater priority than providing physicians with mhealth devices, such as tablets. It was pointed out that there are several concerns which must also be overcome, such as those regarding data breaches and with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act adherence. Those will be vital to doctors as they bring mobile within their practices.

While acknowledging the potential benefit of the technology, Moore, also pointed out that doctors will need to be able to validate the data that is being provided to them through mhealth monitoring devices, and that this will be a vital step before they are incorporated at a clinical level.

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