Last updated: 28.02.13

Mobile technology to 'revolutionise' healthcare sector

Mobile technology could become one of the biggest drivers of medical advancement, with patients set to enjoy better health and doctors expected to become more efficient.This is according to Ashraf Shehata from the Global Center of Excellence Healthcare at KPMG, who said he believes in 50 years' time, the rise of the mobile channel will have changed the face of healthcare.He claimed that with the newest devices and technologies, hospitals will be better managed and people will have improved treatment, while governmental costs will be lower."Indeed, by coupling the power of mobile devices with rapidly-maturing technologies such as cloud, health systems around the world are starting to awaken to an entirely new way of delivering health services," Mr Shehata added.The expert explained the mobile healthcare revolution can only come about if new approaches to delivering services are unlocked, so the constraints of physical location and maintaining expensive equipment are not a burden. Instead, healthcare will enter the domestic space, or an office or primary care environment - wherever the customer prefers.Mobile devices will soon allow specialists from opposite ends of the world to communicate with patients and discuss test results, as well as design treatment plans, Mr Sheta remarked, bringing diagnostic staff into sick individuals' homes."And when patients do need to use location-based health services, mobile applications will help them find the closest and most appropriate care at just the touch of a button," he continued.Moving forward, the professional said there is still some way to go before his vision of mobile healthcare becomes a reality, as applications and mobile services still need to mature beyond replicating web support. He also claimed device price points and functionality need to improve and cloud providers must hone their offerings towards the unique needs of the healthcare sector.Mr Shehata's words come after a report published by the Department of Health recently revealed mobile devices have the potential to improve productivity among nurses and increase the number of patients they are able to see every day.