mHealth to Grow Significantly Over the Next Five Years

By 2020, 160 million Americans will be monitored and treated remotely for at least one chronic condition. According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), mobile health technology, or “mHealth,” should be fully incorporated into the healthcare industry at every level by 2017. This includes adoption of not only mHealth, solutions, but also technologies that will improve patient care and efficiency throughout the industry.

A new report commissioned by the FCC and released this fall, “The mHealth Task Force Findings and Recommendations,” outlined goals for encouraging adoption and increasing the use of mobile health technology. The recommendations include hiring a healthcare director for the FCC to help lead the advancement of mHealth adoption. Additionally, the FCC plans to increase collaboration in federal agencies to boost innovation and protect patient safety.

Comprised of representatives from Verizon, mHIMSS, Qualcomm, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the mHealth Task Force identified several barriers to mHealth adoption, including patient safety and privacy, interoperability issues and troubles using data-intensive medical apps.  

In particular, limited access to fixed and mobile broadband coverage in rural areas is a challenge many physicians encounter. New offerings, such as HomeFusion Broadband, provide options for those in rural areas to bring high-speed Internet access to their homes and businesses. And as advanced networks such as 4G LTE continue to grow, remote health monitoring technologies make it possible for healthcare providers to deliver top-notch patient care while increasing cost savings and productivity in their practices.

mHealth technology offers numerous benefits and advantages to both the physician and the patient. With the FCC’s new initiatives, mHealth technology will soon be the norm in medical care.