Technology doesn’t seem to be worth as much these days unless you can take it with you. Laptops, smartphones and tablets have fueled the evolution of a mobile workforce, and who doesn’t appreciate the convenience of accessing the information you need from home, office, airplane or even while stuck in highway traffic (just be careful with that last one).
The healthcare industry has not been immune to these technological tectonic shifts. Nearly 80 percent of doctors will be carrying smartphones by next year, and they’ll be used for more than checking tee times. Mobile devices are utilized to manage patient care and send healthcare data between doctors, hospitals and outpatient facilities.
This has led to an increase in healthcare-related apps, but each one requires secure deployment to protect sensitive patient data. A new startup called Happtique hopes to leverage this market with individually branded mobile app stores developed for hospitals and healthcare professionals.
It’s a new company but one that is not new to forward-thinking solutions. Happtique previously partnered with HealthSaaS to create a catalog of mobile health apps that helps patients monitor their health and receive guidance off-site – that’s right, no more trips to the doctor’s office and 45 minutes of reading five year-old magazines. Patients are also able to upload medical documents into a secure portal, which can be integrated into their electronic health records.
Happtique provides the ability for healthcare professionals to manage and control deployment of certain apps to their patients. Already in beta testing, the company has enlisted several medical institutions in the eastern United States, who are now taking their own private, branded mobile app stores for a test drive.
Another Happtique benefit is the classification system that makes it easier for doctors and healthcare administrators to search among the more than 23,000 mobile health apps already available. Unlike the app stores that consumers are most familiar with browsing, the Happtique store resembles a medical library, with each app categorized and rated.
The challenge for Happtique, and other tech innovators in the healthcare field, is achieving widespread adoption in a world where each hospital has its own infrastructure and legacy system for storing and circulating patient data and treatment information. Factor in the security concerns, and the objective of a one-size-fits-all solution is almost impossible to achieve.
Still, Happtique seems like it might be a very significant step in the right direction. The prospect of having a doctor contact a patient via their iPad with follow-up questions and even post-rehab treatment recommendations would both increase health care convenience while lowering related costs.
Is your healthcare business compliant with HIPAA, the HITECH Act and Red Flag Rules? If so that’s a great start, but such measures should be augmented with the employment of encryption and data loss prevention solutions to protect vulnerabilities in servers, desktops, laptops, portable devices such as USB hard drives and phones, and storage devices.
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