BluePath White Paper: When Mobile Technology Meets Telehealth Lives Are Saved

January 12, 2015

Doctors love their iPads and iPhones. A 2014 HIMSS survey on clinicans' use of mobile devices reports that 70 percent use mobile apps to access clinical information. More than one third also said that mobile technology makes their workday more efficient. Our recent paper, "The Road to Telehealth 2.0 is Mobile," adds one more critical benefit: when combined with telehealth mobile technology can also save lives.

Based on extensive interviews with telehealth experts and leading neurologists specializing in telestroke, "The Road to Telehealth 2.0 is Mobile" explores the impact of mobile technology on telehealth adoption. Telestroke enables stroke specialists to diagnose and treat remotely located patients by viewing patient images shared over telehealth connections. By eliminating emergency patient transfers and providing fast access to stroke specialists, telestroke decreases time-to-treatment after a stroke incidents.

Adding mobile technology to telestroke shaves even more minutes from time-to-treatment by giving stroke specialists access patient images from any location at any time. Using image viewing software on smartphones and tablets, neurologists can view patient images and diagnose without interrupting their workflow to search out a specialized telestroke image viewing workstation. Mobile technology has also proven to be faster for accessing images than a desktop PACS viewer. A 2012 Mayo Clinic study showed that accessing patient images on iPads is six times faster than using a high-resolution PACS viewer. The study also reported that the iPad image-viewer was easier to use and provided better or comparable diagnostic confidence with fewer technical complications.

Telestroke is just one example of how mobile tech impacts telehealth's efficiency and effectiveness. The combination of telehealth's proven benefits, the ubiquity of mobile devices and emergence of cost effective technology platforms is pushing health care
toward a tipping point. On the other side is telehealth 2.0 - telehealth applications
extended to mobile devices for all areas of patient care.