Mobile tech popular, but governance gaps remain, says HIMSS

The 1st Annual HIMSS Mobile Technology Survey, released on Monday, finds that almost all respondents have accessed clinical information through a mobile device. But just 38 percent of them report having a policy in place that regulates the devices' use.

The 12-page report, released on the first day of the mHealth Summit, points to widespread mHealth use in healthcare settings, but also indicates that upper-level management is having problems keeping up with the technology. According to the survey, about half of the respondents said their organization is developing a mobile technology policy, while close to two-thirds plan to have a policy in place in the next six months.

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HIMSS officials received responses from 164 members in conducting the survey in October and November. Half of the respondents indicated they are responsible for ensuring their mobile technology is implemented and operational at their organization, while 48 percent are part of a committee that is responsible for developing organizational policy for mobile technology and 42 percent have direct responsibility for developing that policy.

The survey comes as HIMSS makes a move to address the growing mHealth industry through the launch of mHIMSS and the development of the website, both of which are being shown off at this week’s mHealth Summit in Washington D.C. In addition, the World Health Organization recently released a study indicating the “use of mobile and wireless technologies to support the achievement of health objectives has the potential to transform the face of health service delivery across the globe.”

[See also: mHealth moving forward fast, experts say.]

Factors figuring into this growth include the development of mobile technologies and applications, growth in cellular networks and new opportunities to integrate mobile health into current services.

According to the HIMSS survey: