Healthcare still lags behind other industries in leveraging mobile, CIO survey finds

By Brian Dolan
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While mobile health has been a prominent topic for healthcare providers for the past few years, healthcare is still behind other industries when it comes to leveraging mobile to better engage with customers or patients.

According to a recent survey of 2,300 chief information officers (CIOs) at US companies -- not just healthcare ones, all types -- 70 percent said they had some kind of mobile strategy for interacting with customers. Most of those (56 percent) employ both native apps and mobile-friendly websites.

According to the survey, which was conducted by Robert Half Technology, the percentage of CIOs at healthcare companies that said they had no mobile strategy was higher than any other industry. Some 36 percent of CIOs at healthcare companies told the pollsters that their organization had no mobile strategy, while more than 60 percent of CIOs at business and retail companies said they did have apps and mobile-friendly sites.

"To maintain competitive advantage, sectors such as business services and retail need to connect with customers anytime, anywhere, so it's logical to see them leading the charge in implementing mobile strategies," John Reed, Senior Executive Director, Robert Half Technology said in a statement. "Compliance issues have made it difficult for the healthcare industry to move as quickly as other sectors, but as consumer demand for mobile health information grows, formal mobile strategies are a necessary next step."

Last year a different study -- this was a survey of 100 healthcare CIOs and other health IT professionals who worked in provider settings -- found that 17 percent believed mobile health would have a more significant impact on healthcare than even interconnectivity of healthcare facilities or the implementation of EHRs.

A study by MobiHealthNews earlier this year found that there are only slightly more than 200 iOS and Android apps available from US hospitals for their patients. Those include Children's Hospital of Wisconsin's Keep Spriggy Safe, a gaming app that teaches kids how to be safe around the house.