More than one-third of health care providers use mobile health applications daily in their practice, according to a new IT trade group study. Within a year, about half of providers will be using mHealth apps to access electronic health data, predicts the association, CompTIA.
Until recently, laptop and notebook computers have been the mHealth tool of choice. Now, tablets, smartphones and apps represent the "next wave of mobile adoption," according to a news release put out today by CompTIA.
More than half of the 350 providers surveyed online by CompTIA for the "Third Annual Healthcare IT Insights and Opportunities" study say they already use smartphones for work. The study suggests that they soon will be using those smartphones and other devices for work daily, especially to access EHRs.
About one-quarter of the doctors, dentists and other providers surveyed say they use tablet computers in their practice, with another 21 percent telling researchers they will start using tablets in the next year. Two-thirds said implementing or improving their mHealth technology is a high or mid-level priority for the next year, CompTIA says.
Only 5 percent of the providers reported using cloud computing, but researchers said some are likely using cloud-based applications without realizing it. Providers familiar with cloud computing -- only 57 percent knew much about it -- saw potential in the data storage and backup capabilities of cloud-based EHRs, the study says.
Telemedicine isn't foremost in providers' minds either, according to CompTIA, with only 14 percent of respondents saying they actively follow news of the sector. But providers acknowledged telemedicine's potential for providing continuing professional education, specialist referrals and patient consultations.
CompTIA, based in Downers Grove, Ill., is a nonprofit trade association for the information technology industry.