Conversation with Shahid Shah on mHealth, Part 1

by VPNHaus | 10/27/2010

This week, we feature Shahid Shah, an enterprise software analyst that specializes in healthcare IT with an emphasis on e-health, E M Rs, data integration, and legacy modernization.  He is also founder of the popular Healthcare IT Guy blog.

Shahid Shah:  Mobile devices and wireless in general are hot topics these days. And you have a variety of different areas.  One major one is wireless, broadly speaking, and the other one is mobile phones. You may have noticed that if you go into hospitals these days, many don’t allow mobile phones.  Lots of hospital device vendors and mobile device vendors are trying to figure how to best incorporate cellular technology into hospitals.

As far as mobile phone and mobile technologies adoption is concerned, the adoption rate is just as good – if not better – than any commercial sector (other than the mass consumer market). Consumers have definitely picked up on mobile technology significantly better than any enterprises have.

In the healthcare enterprise sector, adoption is really quite high, that’s the good news is. But the bad news is, there are still a wide variety of standards that haven’t been adopted broadly enough to be applicable across cross multiple mobile devices within the hospital.

For example, there are many cases where you’ll go in with a cellphone in an area of a hospital where cellular signals won’t work but Wi-fi does. And then you move 20-feet down in the same environment and Wi-Fi will stop working but the cellphone will come on. It’s one thing if you lose the signal on a phone call with a friend but a whole other thing if you have a critical medical device running on wireless and that thing loses signal or connectivity even briefly. It can really mean a big deal to lose signal in a critical life scenario.