5 Ways Digital Health Startups Can Break From the Pack

CIO.COM reports on 5 Ways Digital Health Startups Can Break From the Pack. Clinical apps need to be “HIPAA-plus” compliant in an era of evolving healthcare security threats, says Ron Remy, CEO of Mobile Heartbeat. “You need to go way beyond if you want a useful product.”

ANCC Magnet Conference

Last week Mobile Heartbeat attended the Magnet ANCC trade show in Dallas, Texas. We had the opportunity to talk to a lot of caregivers about their experiences with mobility and I wanted to share some of our findings with you.

 What we learned

There is a real need for solutions such as our MH-CURE software that mobilize communications, alerts and alarms and clinical data in healthcare. I spoke with many nurses who described horror stories of how difficult it was to make contact with other key caregivers (nurse to physician communication was a repeated example), or the difficulty of finding a WoW just to look up basic patient information, or the struggle to stay on top of all the patient alarms that are sounding in a clinical unit.

With MH-CURE, nurses have all these features and functionalities available on one handheld device that the nurse carries at all times. The efficiency gains can transform the amount of time spent on patient care – communication times can be reduced from 15 minutes to 15 seconds. Alarms become patient-specific and are delivered to the correct caregiver based on who is in the patient care team, and patient clinical information is available in two clicks on any MH-CURE device.

Thanks and see you again

Thanks to everyone who stopped by our booth – it was great to have the opportunity to meet you and we look forward to talking to you soon!

Mobile Heartbeat and AirStrip Form Technology Partnership

Leading Clinical Mobility Solutions Providers Partner to Provide Expanded Clinical Communications Capabilities to Patient Care Teams WALTHAM, Mass. and SAN ANTONIO, Tex. — October 14, 2014 — Mobile Heartbeat, a leading provider of smartphone clinical communications, today announced a technology partnership with AirStrip®, the leading provider of mHealth solutions that drive clinical transformation through mobility.

User Distraction or Market Disruption: Smartphone Usage in Healthcare

A recent literature search on smartphone usage in healthcare settings turned up a fascinating paper, “Distraction: an assessment of smartphone usage in health care work settings,” written by Gill, Kamath and Gill and published on August 27, 2012. In their publication, they concluded a set of “best practices” to “alleviate the negative effects of smartphones in a health care workplace”. Now that we are more than two years beyond the paper’s publication date, I wondered how their recommendations stack up against current practices. So I decided to do an item-by-item assessment:

1) Store personal devices out of reach, and encourage the use of organization-provided devices that contain preinstalled job-specific functions and apps.

Today, storing personal devices out of reach is impractical. Too many clinicians rely on their personal devices to stay in contact with practices and their family during their work day. These clinicians are mobile healthcare professionals – with the emphasis on “mobile” – and their personal smartphone is too important to be confiscated while on the job. The second suggestion, providing organization-supplied devices, is certainly a best practice for most hospitals.

In order to be successful, however, a mobility deployment has to include both types of devices – hospital-owned and personal (BYOD). So instead of sequestering the staff’s personal smartphones, the successful facilities have modified their network, security infrastructure and mobile device management (MDM) software to accommodate these needs.

2) Create no-cellular/no-smartphone zones in sensitive areas like intensive care units (ICUs), operation theatres, and critical care units.

Not surprisingly, these “forbidden zones” have not become commonplace. Instead, these critical care areas have benefitted greatly from smartphone users’ ability to receive pertinent notifications and patient information “pushed” to their devices. We need to give the clinicians in these critical care areas more respect. They are highly trained healthcare professionals who understand the importance of focus.

3) Regulate the kind of ring tones, alert tones, and other such sounds used by health care professionals on their phones at work.

Back in 2012, the authors probably did not see the benefit of using smartphones to receive patient-specific alerts and messages to replace generic alarms and overhead paging. My guess is that the authors were concerned about hearing the theme song from “The Simpsons” as a ringtone in a clinical care setting. Two years later and again the clinicians have to get credit for their usage. They have utilized smartphones to reduce the amount of background noise in the hospital and have enabled a quieter and more respectful patient experience.

4) Ensure that all digital data is appropriately encrypted, and that the network and devices associated with the network are password-protected.

The authors were absolutely spot-on with this guideline. Security, from the device through the network and ultimately to all pertinent legacy clinical data is first and foremost in every mobility project. Do not even attempt to install new technology into a healthcare setting unless its security is top-of-the-line.

5) Regulate access to social-networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, and promote an intra-company communication network in the workplace.

To date, not much regulation has been put in place to limit social networking use on personal smartphones, however, the hospital-supplied devices generally do not allow access to these external sites.

On the second suggestion, we are just beginning to see the introduction and promotion of specialized intra-hospital communications software. We refer to this as “Operational Communications” as opposed to the “Clinical Communications” that we provide via our MH-CURE software. We expect new products and services to provide hospital-related “Operational Communications” to begin to be deployed in the next few years.

6) Establish cellular-/smartphone-restricted zones, as well as cellular-/smartphone-friendly zones.

We have not seen this type of policy yet – but this may change over time.

7) Create specific hotspots where personal devices may be used during breaks.

For personal device users, this is a good idea. Break rooms and ancillary areas do not always have the best cellular or WiFi coverage.

8) Promote hygienic use of devices in health care settings through the use of gloves and sanitizers.

Absolutely true. This goes for the smartphone cases as well.

9) Ensure that prior permission is obtained before taking photos and videos at work. While taking photos and videos, all must adhere to organizational ethics and conflict-of-interest policies.

Again, absolutely true. We designed our clinical photography module to limit usage for clinical purposes and to immediately remove any images from the smartphones.

10) Ensure high-security computing networks, with regulated use of outside devices.

Similar to #4 above, this is a “must have.” The deployment of a new class of software for Mobile Device Management (MDM) is a key component to a hospital’s compliance with this suggestion.

To summarize, the authors did a very good job of compiling a set of guidelines. Two years later, many of these still ring true. What we would suggest, however, is to take these guidelines and add Mobile Heartbeat’s upcoming “Smartphone Deployment Best Practices.” We will provide you with additional tips and direction to maximize the success of your mobility project in an upcoming article.