The Coronavirus pandemic has created a dire situation that puts unprecedented pressure on an already overburdened healthcare system. Hospitals and physicians quickly realized that they could no longer carry on business as usual and distribute healthcare services under the traditional, in-person care model. As patients found it almost impossible to receive care in-person at a physical doctor’s office, telehealth and virtual care solutions went mainstream overnight. Let’s explore the advantages and disadvantages of smartphones in healthcare.

Specialists Adapt Mobility Solutions To Continue Patient Care

It is not only primary care and urgent care facilities that had to reinvent their way of distributing patient care. Physicians from multiple specialties are leveraging smartphones, tablets, and other mobile solutions to engage with patients while maintaining social distancing. They are using telemedicine as a first line of defense to help slow the spread of the virus.

Cardiologists, pediatricians, and even OB-GYNs are now offering virtual consultations with mobile solutions and telehealth platforms. Until recently, these specialists have been particularly reluctant to take their visits online. Surprisingly, the transition has been seamless. Patients perceive the risks of an in-person doctor visit high and feel much safer seeing their physicians virtually, without the need to leave their home.

Some apps now even offer longer-term in-home monitoring for seniors or people with chronic diseases. These types of services are particularly helpful to those with severe health conditions, such as heart disease or diabetes.

Hospitals Use Technology to Better Manage the COVID-19 Crisis

Many hospital systems have been offering telehealth services as part of their outpatient offerings. As a response to the pandemic, many of them began integrating virtual tools into in-hospital patient care. For example, in the Bay area, Stanford Hospital took drastic measures to reduce face-to-face contact between its staff and patients.

For instance, anyone needing testing for COVID-19 has to go to a drive-through testing area, without the need to enter the hospital building. Nurses and doctors use two-way cameras, mobile devices, and virtual solutions to triage and examine patients.

Virtual mobility plays an important role, even in hospital admissions. Before COVID-19, the admission process included touchpoints with various members of the hospital staff. Today, due to the pandemic, a telehealth cart with a tablet facilitates the majority of communication between patients and the admitting physicians.

On-The-Go Access to Healthcare Data

With the currently unfolding COVID-19 crisis, medical personnel and mobile healthcare professionals need on-the-go access to healthcare data. As makeshift hospitals change the New York City landscape, medical crews rely more heavily on mobile solutions.

Cloud-based technology enables healthcare crews in the field to get real-time health data and make timely treatment decisions. Without the availability of mobile devices and access to patient health information, it would be unimaginable to successfully convert a large part of Central Park into a functioning, 68-bed field hospital.

BYOD Program Security Challenges and Solutions

While the widespread use of mobile devices fills an urgent need to help healthcare workers fulfill their functions in a rapidly changing environment, without the proper infrastructure, there is a potential for security challenges.

Even before the pandemic, almost 75% of US hospitals allowed some sort of BYOD (bring-your-own-device) policy. While implementing BYOD programs can offer significant cost savings and convenience, the approach has its challenges.

One of the most significant concerns in healthcare relates to transferring health data in a manner that is fully HIPAA-compliant. A single malicious attempt in the form of a security breach could compromise patient privacy.

Virtual mobility solutions, such as Hypori, can successfully eliminate security risks by storing all sensitive information in the cloud, in a secure data center. Since data never exists on the users’ actual devices, traditional, device-centric attack methods don’t stand a chance.

Consider the Advantages and Disadvantages of Smartphones in Healthcare

The Coronavirus has literally turned the world upside down, and the healthcare sector is doing its best to adapt its care delivery to the current situation. Virtual mobility plays an integral role in how patients receive care today. Mobile devices, tablets, and smartphones are at the core of COVID-19 patient care.

Ensuring data security is crucial when healthcare organizations implement system-wide mobile strategies. Doctors and support staff are in the front-line of the battle against the virus, and they need the necessary tools to perform at their best. Thanks to solutions like Hypori, healthcare professionals can continue to focus on what they do best, without the need to worry about issues such as HIPAA-compliance and security.

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