This story is becoming more and more common, because of the increased number of mobile broadband enabled products that have come to market in recent years. The rapid pace of innovation and adoption of mobile broadband technology, through both infrastructure improvements and a widening diversity of devices, has allowed medical professionals to organize, analyze, and utilize medical data more efficiently than ever, and save lives in the process.
Stories like this, about a provider empowered through mobile technology to make informed medical decisions, reinforce the fact that we need more broadband enabled mobile technologies, not less, and we must do what we can to remove obstacle to this flourishing market. This is just the beginning of how mobile broadband is changing medicine. Tablets and smartphones are revolutionizing the way medical professionals practice medicine and transforming our healthcare system in the process.
Until recently physicians, nurses and other clinicians have to wait in line for stationary workstations; systems designed with a singular purpose using a hardwired Internet connection, nothing like the broadband-enabled multi-function tablets we know today. Now, doctors have all their patients’ charts, drug information, calculators, and medical research at their fingertips in a device that fits in their scrubs or lab coats, saving critical time when every second matters.
It isn’t just medical professionals who are finding new ways to use this technology to improve health and wellbeing: millions of consumers are able to engage in their health and wellness through the myriad of apps available for the tablet they already know and are comfortable with. There are apps that track diet and exercise, sleep routine, monitor heart rate and even an app that can locate the emergency room with the shortest wait time —a feature every parent would love to have when their child is sick at 2:00 in the morning, or worse when they’re doctor is faced with something he or she has not seen before.
But for these products to transform how we engage in our health we must do whatever we can to break down barriers that are limiting diversity of products or the competition that has allowed this marketplace to grow so quickly. Mobile healthcare technology is changing healthcare as we know it and we haven’t even begun to witness the full potential of these transformative technologies. As the technology matures and broadband access widens, we will continue to see these advancements – making America a healthier place to live.
Bialick is co-founder and executive director of the Newborn Coalition and the Newborn Foundation.