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Is Mobile Health Missing Nurses?

Posted on October 4, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

One of the most under appreciated groups in healthcare is the nurse. I’m sure that every nurse agrees with me. I think that it’s gotten better in many ways for nurses, but from my experience nurses are often taken for granted. I’m probably to blame as much as the next person.

When I think about all the things I’ve written across the Healthcare Scene network of blogs, it’s pretty rare that I ever do a post that’s focused on the nurses. I can think of hundreds and possibly thousands of times I’ve written about the impact on physicians and patients. Nurses. Not so much. Occasionally they’ll get a tangential mention, but rarely are they the center of any healthcare IT story.

As I think about the mobile health space, I think the same is often true. There are thousands of mobile apps focused on doctors. There are thousands of mobile apps focused on patients. How many are focused on nurses? I can’t remember writing about very many nurse focused mobile health apps.

I think I was reminded of this when I saw @MatthewBrowning in my Twitter stream today. As an RN, he built a product called YourNurseIsOn.com which it seems has now been renamed to IntelliBlast Communication System. It was great to see a nurse providing an IT solution for nurses. I haven’t talked to Matthew for a long time, but I remember him talking about how hard it was for him to sale into hospitals. Despite the fact that it’s hard to sale anything to hospitals, I wonder if the fact that he was selling a nurse focused product made it even harder. Maybe that’s why they changed the name? I don’t know, but what I do know is that it’s been pretty rare that I’ve seen an organization focused on products for nurses.

I think most people realize the vital role that nurses play in healthcare. However, there seems to be a mismatch in the role nurses play in healthcare and the mobile and other healthcare IT tools that are built for them. I wonder what mobile health tools would be created for nurses if they were the focus and not just an afterthought.

Healthcare Cloud Spending To Ramp Up Over Next Few Years

Posted on I Written By

Anne Zieger is a healthcare journalist who has written about the industry for 30 years. Her work has appeared in all of the leading healthcare industry publications, and she's served as editor in chief of several healthcare B2B sites.

For years, healthcare IT executives have wrestled with the idea of deploying cloud services, concerned that the cloud would not offer enough security for their data. However, a new study suggests that this trend is shifting direction.

A new study by market research firm MarketsandMarkets has concluded that the healthcare industry will invest $5.4 billion in cloud computing by 2017.  This year should see a particularly big change, with total healthcare cloud investment moving from 4 percent to 20.5 percent of the industry, according to an article in the Cloud Times.

The current US cloud market for healthcare is dominated by SaaS vendors such as CareCloud, Carestream Health and Merge Healthcare, according to MarketsandMarkets. These vendors are tapping into an overall cloud computing market which should grow at a combined annual growth rate of 20.5 percent between 2012 and 2017, the researchers say.

As the report notes, there are good reasons why healthcare IT leaders are taking a closer look at cloud computing. For example, the cloud offers easy access to high-performance computing and high-volume storage, access which would be very costly to duplicate with on-premise computing.

On the other hand, the MarketsandMarkets researchers admit, healthcare still has particularly stringent data security requirements, and a need for strict confidentiality, access control and long-term data storage. Cloud vendors will need to offer services and products which meet these unique needs, and just as importantly, change and adapt as regulatory requirements shift. And they’ll have to have an impeccable reputation.

That last item — the cloud vendor’s reputation — will play a major role in the coming shift to cloud-based deployments. If giants like AT&T, IBM and Verizon stay in the healthcare cloud business, which seems likely to me, then healthcare institutions will be able to admit that they’re engaged in cloud deployments without suffering a public black eye over potential security problems.

On the other hand, if the giants were to get cold feet, cloud adoption would probably slow substantially, and remain at the trickle it has been for several years. While vendors like Merge and Carestream may be doing well, I’d argue that the presence of the 2,000-pound gorilla vendors ultimately dictates whether a market thrives.