10 ways mobile is changing health communications

Don’t be left behind; from ultrasounds to ER, smartphones and tablets are revolutionizing the industry.

Consider the doctor who needs to do an ultrasound in a rural clinic far from a major hospital. With a smartphone, some gel and a MobiUS wand, she can do that.

Or what about the commonplace problem of the patient who gets lost in a sprawling medical complex, unable to find his way to an appointment? A smartphone could map the way.

Mobile technology is revolutionizing health care in ways great and small, Shel Holtz of Holtz Communication + Technology recently told Health Care Marketing and PR Social Media Summit at Mayo Clinic. And it’s time for communicators to get onboard.

“It is the way people are going to be communicating and getting online access and engaging with their physicians and their caregivers and the health care community,” Holtz says.

Here are 10 things you need to know about the mobile revolution in health care communications:

1. The shift is under way.

By 2014, more people will be using mobile devices worldwide to access content on the Web than will be using computers and laptops, Holtz says. Designers are creating what are known as mHealth applications, and the FDA is streamlining rules.

“When the FDA moves that fast on something like this, they’re aware that something is going on,” he says.

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