Monday, June 04, 2012

M2M, Enterprise Mobility and Healthcare

SAP and Mobile Healthcare Suite
I noted a new mobile priority for SAP a few weeks back in The Netherlands where I was attending a presentation at the Enterprise Mobility Exchange.  For the first time, that I have seen, SAP listed a Mobile Healthcare Suite as a mobile app priority.  I found this very interesting and agree that this should be a high priority.  I view healthcare as one of the industries that can be transformed the most by mobile solutions and M2M/mobile patient monitoring.

In an article titled X-rays and iPads: the network healthcare evolution, the author Sean Gallagher identifies a number of areas where mobility and M2M (machine to machine) will work together to revolutionize healthcare:
  • Monitoring patients’ health more proactively with networked devices, ranging from wirelessly networked medicine bottle lids to worn or embedded sensors that report back on vital signs.
  • Coordinating care with the help of analytic tools in the cloud and a wealth of individual and collective patient data.
  • Connecting physicians directly with patients over PCs or mobile devices for between-appointment follow-ups.
In another article titled, Health-Monitoring Devices Market Outpaces Telehealth the author Anthony Vecchione identifies some additional trends:
  • Medical devices purchased by consumers used to self-monitor health conditions will account for more than 80% of wireless devices in 2016, according to a study conducted by IMS Research.
  • The proportion of wireless devices used in managed telehealth programs is predicted to increase from 5% in 2011 to 20% in 2016, according to the study.
Edna Boone in an article titled, Five Ways Mobile Tech Can Improve Your Health listed some additional statistics about enterprise mobility and healthcare that you may find interesting:
  • By the end of 2012 mHealth apps will have been downloaded 44 million times. By 2016, that number is expected to increase to 142 million downloads.
  • By this summer, 13,000 consumer health apps will be available for download on the iPhone. About half of those (6,000) are for medical professionals.
  • More than 80% of physicians own a mobile device, compared to 50% of the general U.S. population.
  • About 30% of physicians are using smartphones and tablets to treat patients.
The healthcare field in many ways has been a backward industry that relies on masses of paper.  Today this is now changing with electronic health records and paperless office initiatives, and with advances in M2M and mobile technologies this will only accelerate the transformation in the healthcare industry.

SAP has been showing up at the major M2M events this year (this is new), and even announced the kick-off of an M2M initiative.  SAP partners like ILS Technology are also accelerating their M2M activities and focus on SAP ERP users these days.  I look forward to watching this trend unfold.

Kevin Benedict, Mobile Industry Analyst, Mobile Strategy Consultant and SAP Mentor Alumnus
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Full Disclosure: I am an independent mobility analyst, consultant and blogger. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.