A common trend in the technological era of today involves the use of mobile devices and applications to provide convenient methods for many aspects of our lives. Mobile applications allow us to easily access information such as a map with GPS functionality, weather forecasts, or online banking and bill payment. Through mobile applications, we even have the ability to conveniently capture and share photos, video chat with friends and family and even play games, right in the palms of our hands. The rapid improvement of mobile technology has been impressive to say the least. For example, patients and health care providers can now securely access and send mobile health information through medical mobile applications.
Mobile health applications such as “Health 2.0″ uses software and mobile tools in order to conveniently promote collaboration and the dissemination of information between patients, their medical care providers and other interested parties. These health care apps can include functions such as tele-medicine, sending and receiving of electronic medical records through secure text massaging and emails, and much more. Almost half of all U.S. medical practitioners utilize electronic record keeping software; however, with the implementation of this new mobile healthcare technology, it’s quite possible that many more medical practitioners will start hosting records electronically as well.
A common concern with mobile health technology involves security. Medical and health records are considered to be confidential information, and keeping this information secure is of high priority for the patients, practitioners and health care providers. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) has implemented multiple regulations and compliance services for keeping medical applications secure and private. For example, the HIPAA Privacy Rule deals with both the use and disclosure of protected health information that’s held by entities such as employer sponsored health plans, health insurers, and medical service providers that engage in specific transactions with patients. Additionally, specialized security software has been developed for mobile device apps that encrypt the data on your phone, communicate it to the recipient, and then decrypt it, ensuring patient privacy and HIPAA compliance.
With adequate security and privacy measures taking place, mobile electronic healthcare applications remain a reliable and convenient way for those involved in the healthcare and medical industry to access and share information. Gone are the days of faxing and storing millions of papers that consist of medical records and health information. Now patients, healthcare providers and practitioners can use this mobile technology to save an overwhelming amount of natural resources by utilizing yet another environmentally-friendly method.