Merrily Orsini's Thought Leadership

Increasing Mobility in the World of Health Care

It’s pretty simple. The world has gone mobile. Smart phones and tablets have given individuals the ability to search for services, purchase products and conduct business from wherever they happen to be. As a shining example, this 2011 holiday season saw a significant increase in online sales, and an exponential increase in sales  made from mobile devices, particularly on Christmas Day. In fact, Christmas Day online sales jumped 16.4 percent from last year, likely owing a lot to tablets like the Kindle Fire, iPad, and Nook being hot items on many people’s wish lists.

According to TechCrunch.com, “Sales completed from mobile devices grew, reaching 14.4 percent versus 5.3 percent on Christmas Day 2010, representing an increase of 172.9 percent. In terms of specific mobile devices, the iPad led all mobile device traffic to retailers at 7 percent, followed by the iPhone at 6.4 percent and Android at 5 percent.”

So what does all this mobile use mean for health care? A lot, actually. Mobile technology is being used across all areas of the industry, with big names like Verizon and Sprint getting in on the game with remote patient monitoring devices. And, with customers and potential clients spending so much time on their mobile devices, it’s important for health care industry professionals to have a mobile-enabled website  to increase sales and awareness of services, locations served, as well as brands.

A surprising number of businesses have still not taken the steps to make their websites mobile-friendly, so many, in fact, that Google recently sponsored an effort to encourage businesses to make sure they offer websites that work well on mobile devices. The bottom line is simple. Similar to the retail industry, increasing numbers of potential clients will be searching for their health care needs – doctors, local home care agencies, independent living aids – from mobile devices. If a company’s site is not mobile enhanced, chances are the customer will search for what they need elsewhere.HIPAA Regulations and Compliance

When conducting health related business via mobile devices, as so many physicians and health care agencies are doing these days, it is vital to ensure that all interactions are HIPAA compliant. According to a white paper published by Diversinet, “A large number of new entrants and small mobile health companies are providing targeted wireless personal health monitoring devices and services that collect and transmit health data. An even larger number of smart phone application companies have developed specialized mHealth apps for patient monitoring, scheduling medical appointments and medication reminders. At the other end of the vendor spectrum, well-established global technology service providers are adapting existing security products for the healthcare sector.”

The paper also lists mobile security best practices such as, encrypting patient health information on mobile devices, authentication of users prior to transmitting patient health information and automatic session timeout, logoff and device locking. To read more about mobile security and HIPAA compliance for health care professionals, download Diversinet’s white paper.

So what can you do to get up to date with offering your services to a mobile user? Make certain that your website is built with mobile applications in mind, and, if not, look into what it would take to make that transition. And, get on board with the rest of the world that is going mobile!

corecubed can help. We have mobile enabled many business websites, updated them for today’s business searcher, and continue to maintain them for best results.