Cloud computing and the regulatory environment will also play an important part
Key areas for growth in 2014 and beyond in the global healthcare market are mobileHealth (mHealth), Cloud computing and global regulatory environments, finds a new report from Frost & Sullivan.
The study was based on a ‘2013 Search for Growth’ survey involving 1,835 executives in more than 40 countries worldwide.
According to the report, mHealth expansion has been fuelled by the unprecedented spread of mobile technologies, as well as advancements in their application to address health priorities. It is largely supported by devices such as mobile phones, patient monitoring devices, personal digital assistants (PDAs) and other wireless products.
The penetration prospects of mHealth technologies are significant in wireless vital signs monitoring, location-aware telemonitoring systems and Bluetooth wireless technology-enabled health trackers.
'It is an exciting area of opportunity for healthcare growth and will provide innovative solutions for stakeholders, both providers and patients alike, across the spectrum,' the report says.
The advantages that Cloud computing provides can change the dynamics of the healthcare informatics industry over time
In addition, as more healthcare IT and patient monitoring tools are integrated, every hospital facility will eventually require an enterprise-wide wireless solution. Such solutions will also improve the quality of medical services and efficiency of operations while cutting costs, the study forecasts.
Cloud computing is considered to be a key enabler for enterprise-wide solutions and implementing it appropriately will help healthcare providers improve the quality of medical services and the efficiency of operations, share information across geographic locations and manage costs. The concept can be applied in a variety of ways, including data storage and data loss prevention, maintaining patient information records and authorised sharing of information.
'The advantages that Cloud computing provides can change the dynamics of the healthcare informatics industry over time,' suggests the report. 'The need for efficient sharing of information across locations in a synchronised manner will be a key driver for Cloud computing in healthcare.'
As for the regulatory environment, recent healthcare reforms and policy initiatives across many countries have emphasised the importance of quality of care more than quantity. In the absence of a sufficient proof of clinical benefit, reimbursements may pose a major hurdle.