The greatest benefit of mobile health, physicians noted, would be faster real-time access to more accurate data.
"Remote and mobile technology is making it possible to move healthcare delivery outside the traditional settings of physician offices and hospitals to wherever patients are. It's bringing back the concept of doctors making house calls," said Daniel Garrett, leader of PricewaterhouseCoopers' health Information Technology (HIT) practice. "New consumer-oriented business models and technologies are emerging. Companies that will be well positioned competitively are those than can integrate mobile health into healthcare delivery and create value in the health system by helping doctors and their patients better manage health and wellness through mass personalization."
The report found that much of the momentum behind mobile health to date has been from companies outside traditional healthcare, such as technology and telecommunications companies looking to expand their footprint in the health industries. When asked who they would prefer to receive mobile health services from, however, consumers ranked their healthcare provider, hospital or health system as No. 1, followed by their health insurer.
"There are significant opportunities for physicians, hospitals, health insurers, pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers to market and differentiate themselves using mobile health," Garrett said. "Yet many healthcare organizations are largely ignoring the opportunity to integrate mobile health into other IT efforts such as the implementation of electronic health records."