Mobile technology is spreading farther and faster than ever before, into a variety of new industries. Based on our current workload, we know that healthcare app development is by far the most active and funded sector for mobile innovation. We are currently working on several projects spurred by the ideas of providers, payers, administrators, and even patients who realize how innovation can improve care, outcomes, and efficiency.
While everyone generally wants better care and better outcomes for patients, our experience has taught us that healthcare is a tricky industry with deep-seated barriers to innovation. Payers want technology to provide compliance to standards and best practices. While providers are trying to provide the best care, they also worry about the reduction in revenues and profits that can result from compliance to universal standards. Plus, payers and providers are often the same business entities with innate conflicts of interest. Everyone is concerned about PHI-compliance, FDA regulations, and security, which make the entire industry averse to the risk of sharing information on networked servers, despite the rewards that might provide.
And yet we’ve learned how these barriers can be overcome. Patients provide the demand for all healthcare services, and while it may seem counterintuitive, they tend to withhold that demand because of a handful of real fears: fear that they will be able to pay for it, fear that they will not receive the care they specifically need, and the old-fashioned but persistent fear of doctors – finding out the truth about their health. But there’s a twist: patients do trust and value innovation and the modernization of healthcare, especially when it puts the power of information in their hands. We have learned that new technology often spurs what we call the golden circle of healthcare innovation:
- Providers get a higher supply of referrals and the opportunity to be the point of entry of more patients into the healthcare system (more revenue).
- They can process more patients efficiently and effectively (more profits).
- They can more readily adhere to best practices and standards (better care = reputation and marketing).
- Which leads to more referrals and patients. The circle is closed, and everyone receives value.
Regarding security fears, we have processes, methods, and experience in deploying PHI-compliant, hosted systems. This is not to say that we are Compliance Officers, and we do not claim to be compliance experts – you still need those. We are software designers and developers, and experience matters. We architect and deploy all of our hosted infrastructures with the same level of security and methods required by HIPAA-compliant and banking industry systems.