Handheld Devices In Health Care Delivery

2059 words - 8 pages

How the use of handheld electronic devices has created new approaches to health care delivery?In the last few years' handheld devices such as the blackberry, iPad and iPhone have become extremely popular all around the world. In July 2011, 82.2 million people owned a Smartphone, which was up 54% from the previous year (Nickels 611). Companies and people alike have scrambled to invent and purchase the newest versions of these devices. With the introduction of applications or "Apps"; which are software made specifically for access on a handheld platform and are allowing people to access information nearly instantly- people are finding more and more ways to use these apps in their everyday lives to make tasks easier. For the purpose of this paper, I will be focusing on the use of these devices and their attributed apps in the healthcare field. Due to the worlds quickly aging population these devices have become more popular than ever as quick information access is in high demand to deal with a surge of new patients (Prasad 409). Health care workers are now using hand held devices not only to access medical information but also to interact with their patients in new ways.According to a statistical study done by Kalorama Information, the total market for handheld devices in healthcare reached $11 billion dollars globally in 2011, reflecting a 10% growth since 2007 (26). Researchers such as, Abdul Hafeez-Baig have explained that there are benefits of using technology in the health sector (229) as long as there are proper policies and training set in place (237). One of these benefits is easier access to information, specific to the needs of individuals, when and where they need it most (Prasad 409). Other researchers have found that the use of handheld devices in healthcare has increased productivity and lowered wait times. While many prior studies have agreed that handheld technology has the ability to solve some of the many problems in healthcare, such as long wait times, diagnostic errors and language barriers among doctors and patients, many of them have not gone in depth on how these problems can be solved (Gururajan 74).Even though there has not been an extensive amount of research on this topic, most research that has been conducted on handheld devices in healthcare has focused on whether or not it is beneficial. Many researchers have not gone into detail on what those benefits may be and none of them have given updated examples of new handheld technologies currently being used in healthcare today. Information on how the introduction of handheld devices into the healthcare sector has affected patient doctor relations is also non-existent. This lack of information leads to questions such as, "How do handheld devices affect patient-doctor relationships?", "What do these devices do?" and "How can they help medical personnel?". To address these gaps, I will offer examples of new handheld technologies that have been used in the healthcare sector as...

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