Spyglass Consulting has just completed a study on mobile communications. The report looks at the communications devices used by physicians and nurses in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Here's a summary of the findings:

  • Most clinicians (67%) have to carry more than one device to communicate with colleagues and patients. It would be interesting to see the split between physicians and nurses - I would bet physicians are much more likely than nurses to carry multiple devices.
  • The ideal communications device does not exist. Clinicians have tried (and are using) them all - pagers, cell phones, smart phones, and VoIP phones. Voice communications is loosely coupled with IT, while effective messaging (especially messaging to caregivers at the point of care) requires much tighter integration with IT.
  • Clinicians lack the tools to filter, manage and prioritize communications. Of course the tight integration with IT required to effectively deploy comprehensive communications tools has a huge impact on the actual devices that can be supported.
  • Clinicians lack standardized processes to collaborate with colleagues. Communications that occur as a byproduct of referrals, consultations and coordination of care are poorly automated and provide little or no workflow automation that facilitates communications during the delivery of care.

This report shines an important light on unmet requirements in a potentially large market that I'm sure many vendors - from several market segments - have their eyes on.

Pictured right is the GE AirStrip fetal monitoring surveillance product (that runs on numerous smart phones) from GE.