How does Patient Side Computing Enhance Healthcare?

how-does-patient-side-computing-enhance-healthcareInfotainment is a rapidly spreading concept across the digital landscape – combining information and attractive content with the goal of providing entertainment handinhand with data that is of value to the viewer.

This idea is evident in the healthcare industry. Waiting rooms play informational content on a loop, hoping patients will absorb data that could help improve their care and their compliance with treatment plans. A new take on this avenue of patient education is patient-side computing, a more personalized way to gain exposure to beneficial knowledge.

Research and experimentation that examines patient-side computing setups in healthcare environments can track levels of positive engagement, and devise new ways to deliver data in a user-friendly format. The gradual shift in focus is away from the typical ceiling mount television and restricted cable network providing a comforting drone of syndicated entertainment and towards a more interactive patient experience with Medical Cart Computers that track patient care, capture data, and can also be used to provide information as well as entertainment to captive audiences.  

This information dissemination pattern has been successfully implemented in other verticals. Hotels and restaurants provide tablet computers in the room or on the table, allowing users to order and pay outstanding bills, and these tablets also often offer the option for more entertaining types of interacting by way of apps or games, either free or paid, allowing users to entertain themselves. In many cases, for example the tourism related businesses, information about local attractions can be fed alongside fun facts about the area, or quizzes can be used to pique interest.

When utilizing digital devices in a healthcare setting, the issue of security and privacy is a priority. Patient-side computing can be regulated by strict accessibility parameters – infotainment options segmented form patient data, and key card access required for sensitive data or tools. This allows for one device to have multiple functions, and reduces the number of computers required for each room.

The benefits of infotainment and patient computing options is proven to enhance patient stays in healthcare facilities, encouraging patient interaction and increasing satisfaction as well as ultimate outcomes. When patients can receive valuable data about their condition, communicate with hospital staff, enjoy various forms of entertainment, and even interact in a limited way with the main system (such as ordering food from the cafeteria), their experience is positively enhanced.

The psychological aspect of recovery is bolstered by allowing the patients to feel like they are in charge of their recovery, and can reduce readmission rates, leading to savings for the facility and higher grades for patient care. Infotainment is shaping up to be the next huge step forward in the realm of patient-side care.

Five Reasons All Doctors Need Advanced Mobile Capability

five-reasons-all-doctors-need-advanced-mobile-capabilityMobile tech use in the healthcare vertical has exploded over the past five years. According to a March, 2015 study by Kantar Media, 84% of US physicians polled use smartphones for professional purposes, and 56% use tablets.

Diagnostic tools, clinical reference apps, drug and coding references, and productivity and organizational tools were the top types of usage for smartphone carriers, while those who used tablets concentrated more on readable content and patient side care, with medical journal and electronic medical record apps as well as diagnostic tools and patient education tools.

Tablet use has been expanding among doctors, with the larger screens and ability to share screen views more readily with patients and other professionals leading to better versatility that outweighs the bulkier format. While institutions that provide mobile devices were more likely to hand out smartphones, the ones that opted for tablet deployment saw faster implementation of the devices in day-to-day use.

Patients also appreciate tablet use by their healthcare professionals; again, the ability to input, retrieve, share, and store information in real time is attractive to patients who seek to feel involved in their own care, and the tablet provides an easy way for doctors to loop patients in on the data files being created for them. Apps can be recommended and shared with patients who require monitoring, whether they are image based meal logs for diabetics, logs for exercise, heart rate and blood pressure evaluators, or sleep tracking.  

The apps available for healthcare are in the tens of thousands. According to research by MedData Group in January, 2015, the leading apps allow access to specialty specific and clinical content; medical education articles; and pharma information, specifically contraindications and drug interaction information. Having quick access and the ability to double check data while patient-side increases trust and leads to better outcomes.

Only 20% of doctors as of that study reported not reading medical content on mobile devices, and polling from just one year prior showed nearly 40% of doctors were committed to making their practice mobile friendly for both staff and patients, citing the benefits of understanding the needs of a mobile generation, and the ability to enhance patient compliance via app use and data capture long term.

Overall, tablets can be expected to continue to advance on smartphones in the medical field, especially in the arena of patient interaction. From access to EHRs to app development for patient care, there are more benefits on the horizon for medical adaptation and patient implementation.