By Antonio Carrasco
For Latin America, mobile technology in healthcare is transforming the way providers access information and interact with patients, which is leading to better care.
And the timing’s right. As rates of incidents of chronic diseases, such as diabetes, continue to rise, the growing adoption of mobile is giving healthcare professionals timely access to reliable drug information to improve decision-making at the point of care.
In Mexico alone, for example, type II diabetes is the leading cause of death for women, and the second leading cause for men. With multiple drugs and varying treatments for diabetes-related conditions physicians are relying more and more on smartphones and tablets to ensure they have access to the most up-to-date treatment protocols.
In addition to timely access to information and the ability to improve patient outcomes, mobile technology can also lead to new efficiencies for healthcare providers, where cost constraints and funding are still challenges in many in Latin American countries. According to PWC, by 2017 the potential of mobile-related healthcare solutions will be significant. In addition to providing millions of citizens’ access to in-country healthcare systems, such solutions will result in a reduction in healthcare spend and an improvement in productivity.
The Next Wave of Mobile Transformation
The next wave of mobile transformation will be shaped by the emergence of new business models and the integration of technology like data analytics and cloud.
With massive, dynamic databases of medical information, publishers need to be better able to organize, store and analyze the information in order to gain insight into how the data is being accessed and applied by clinicians. Once patterns of use are established, we will be able to apply greater intelligence to evolve how we are communicating with clinicians on a local level. This includes sharing more personalized updates, via push notifications, on only the most relevant new drugs and therapies.
Demand for access to our medical data is quadrupling each year, so we need to be able to safely store and manage information in the cloud to ensure scalability. Cloud is a critical component to the future of our business that will enable us to cost effectively expand the volume and types of data we are managing while still being able to efficiently analyze and share with our users.
While mobile continues to evolve and become increasingly integrated with cloud, analytics and social technologies, we are only at the tip of the iceberg in terms of truly understanding the wider societal and economic impact on the Latin American healthcare market. With rising pharmaceutical sales driving demand for increased informational resources at the point of care, to patients being empowered to proactively manage and monitor chronic conditions from home, there is tangible optimism about the future of the healthcare industry, and the role of mobile technologies in its evolution.