Nearly every industry had to adjust to rapidly evolving consumer demands over the past year, and healthcare was no exception. Carrie Henderson, Strategic Account Executive at ScanSource, comments, “Businesses have seen the most amount of change in the way they’ve had to operate and the solutions they’ve had to implement to meet these demands.”
“With the rise of COVID-19, healthcare had to adapt beyond its traditional four walls – and adapt fast,” she says.
As healthcare providers established pop-up clinics and COVID-19 testing locations across the country, practitioners turned to mobile solutions to access information, communicate, and collect data. “And in 2021, as healthcare providers’ focus shifts to vaccine administration at non-traditional sites, such as convention centers, tablets have become a staple in COVID-19 response.”
Additionally, with telehealth adoption increasing by 154 percent during the last week in March 2020 compared with the same period the previous year and becoming some patients’ choice for appointments, caregivers also relied on tablets to communicate with patients “face to face.”
These new uses for healthcare mobility solutions, in addition to more traditional uses, including accessing electronic health records (EHRs), clinical decision support systems (CDSS), and picture archiving communication systems (PACs) and accessing other medical resources, such as drug references, guidelines, or medical calculators, have added up to a 10x increase in healthcare mobility in 2020.
The Demand for Healthcare Mobility Solutions
Henderson points out that healthcare mobility and cloud solutions will continue to be in demand. “There is so much opportunity in healthcare mobility right now, especially with all the changes the vertical has experienced over the past year,” she says. “Mobile solutions will continue to be critical components of hospitals and physicians’ offices as consumer behavior shifts, and even as consumers begin to return to in-person visits, telehealth, self-service, and the overall patient experience will likely dictate healthcare trends for quite some time.”
Henderson says from ScanSource’s point of view as a distributor, it is seeing mobility solutions that improve staff efficiency and enhance patient experiences are among the most popular offerings. “That demand will only continue to grow post-pandemic,” Henderson says.
She adds that ScanSource’s partners providing solutions to healthcare organizations are adding cloud services to their existing hardware solution stacks as more hospitals and healthcare practices are advancing their digital transformation and need to access information from different sites on different devices.
Henderson adds, “Cold chain solution improvement is also a big focus in the healthcare space, especially following the challenges faced during the vaccine distribution. The global pharmaceutical logistics industry currently has an estimated value of around $69 billion, and it is only growing as vaccine distribution increases. As solution providers work to enable undisrupted pharmaceutical logistics, this space presents massive opportunities for growth.”
The Outlook for Healthcare Mobility Solutions
A ReportLinker report projects healthcare mobility solutions to grow from approximately $57 million in 2019 to $272 million by 2027, a CAGR of 22. 2 percent. Driving that growth are factors, including Internet of Things (IoT) devices collecting data and sharing them through telemedicine apps, advancements in medical device technology, and solutions that enable greater automation.
Solutions providers have the opportunity to meet healthcare providers’ needs today to adapt to a post-COVID-19 world and lay the groundwork for innovation in the future. “More than ever before, healthcare providers are looking to solutions providers to help implement effective telemedicine practices, connect all of their mobile devices, and provide seamless access to patient records and data,” Henderson concludes.