As part of its follow-up coverage of the 2011 HIMSS Conference, Mobile Healthcare Today is presenting a series of Q&As, called 6 Questions, with prominent executives and thinkers in the mobile healthcare sector. To gain a consistent high-level view of developments in the market and the technology, we’ve asked each leader the same set of, you guessed it, six questions.
Today’s 6 Questions is with Bob Zemke, senior solutions architect for healthcare and life sciences at Siemens Enterprise Communications. Zemke’s expertise lies in the design, integration, deployment and management of next generation communications technology.
Mobile Healthcare Today: In your view, what are the characteristics of an optimal mobile healthcare strategy?
Bob Zemke: One that allows an organization to utilize best-in-class devices to meet its needs, whether they’re dedicated handsets or applications capable of running on personal devices.
MHCT: Where will this space be in 5 years, and how will your solution evolve/scale with it?
BZ: We will see the continued evolution of smartphone and tablet applications that integrate enterprise communications, paging and access to medical information. Technology and bandwidth improvements will mean improved ways to provide clinical collaboration and care.
MHCT: From a physician/caregiver perspective, what are the top 3 things your solution enables?
BZ: Communications, collaboration, and alerting anywhere anytime.
MHCT: How does your solution help enable regulatory compliance and patient data privacy?
BZ: It helps by numerous means, including encryption and accounting. The goal of our solutions is to provide more flexibility for clinical communications and collaboration while improving on the security and auditing capabilities of legacy applications.
MHCT: What were you looking for at HIMSS? What was your main takeaway from the show?
BZ: I was interested to see how far along (or not) healthcare organizations had come in dealing with smartphone communications and pager migration strategies. I continue to be surprised how little organizations have looked into means to improve clinical communications workflow. Legacy voice technology in hospitals has always performed so well that many take it for granted without considering how reevaluation can overcome inefficiencies that continue to burden caregivers.
MHCT: What will be the major developments of 2011 in this space, and how should healthcare CIO’s prepare for and deal with them?
BZ: Growing usage of smartphones and tablets based on Apple and Android operating systems will push data usage away from PCs and pagers – signifying acceptance of the “consumerization" of products into the healthcare enterprise. Rather than resisting the use of consumer technology such as smartphones, CIOs should work on policy, procedures, and end user education as you build a foundation. From there, look at how the technologies can be leveraged and what is needed to secure and remotely manage them.