Trends in Mobile Computing

Publication Date:           November 2003
Number of Pages:          54
Number of figures:         21
Report Price:                 $1,195 U.S. Dollars
enterprise pricing available upon request

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Introduction  (download paper overview)

This report provides insights into the current state of mobile
computing within the healthcare industry.  It identifies the market
drivers, trends, opportunities and challenges to using mobile
computing devices and medical applications at the point of care.  

The primary content for this report was derived from over
100 in-
depth interviews
with practicing clinicians at leading healthcare
around the country.  These clinicians represent a
broad range of medical specialties, age groups and varying levels of
technical competence and familiarity.

The interviews were completed over a 5-month period starting in
June 2003.  The interviews were conducted both over the phone
and in-person.  The purpose of the interviews was to identify their
critical needs and requirements through conversations about
medical practice inefficiencies, usage of mobile devices and medical
applications today, and opportunities for mobile computing solutions
in the future.

Target Audience

  • Software and hardware vendors, systems integrators
    and management consultants who are selling mobile
    computing devices, applications and services into the
    healthcare industry.
  • Hospital administrators and IT executives who are
    making strategic decisions to fund clinical information
    technology solutions including mobile computing.  
  • Clinicians who are involved in informatics and clinical system
    evaluation and selection.
  • Investment banking and private equity investors


Mobile computing is an enabling technology that is poised to
revolutionize the way medicine is practiced at the point of
 Mobile devices enable clinicians to access patient information
quickly, efficiently and securely from any location and at any time.  
Clinicians are no longer tied to a computer terminal or forced to
physically track down missing or incomplete data required for
informed decision making.  

Mobile computing usage among physicians has grown significantly
over the past few years through the use of standalone knowledge-
based applications.  
More than 90 percent of clinicians
interviewed under the age of 35 use some form of reference
application on a daily basis.
 Grass roots initiatives are inciting
large numbers of medical clinicians to independently purchase
handheld devices that are being used primarily for drug reference
databases, reference manuals and medical calculators.  

Mobile computing usage, however, faces a significant number of
obstacles to widespread adoption within an inpatient hospital setting
as the applications become more comprehensive and require
increased integration with existing legacy-based clinical and financial
According to hospital administrators interviewed
these obstacles including physician adoption, funding,
integration complexities
with legacy-based systems and
protection of patient information on handheld devices.

Early adopter organizations are starting to experiment with next
generation mobile computing solutions.  Approximately
5 percent of
the organizations
interviewed are deploying pilot projects that
e-prescribing, charge capture, patient data
management and structured documentation applications.

More than 92 percent of the clinicians interviewed were
affiliated with healthcare organizations that are still using
legacy-based systems completed by inefficient paper-based
processes and workflows
.  Many of these organizations are
under a significant amount of pressure to invest in clinical
information systems to improve quality of care and patient safety,
increase clinician productivity and reduce the risk of medical errors.
Spyglass Consulting Group
Market Intelligence for Competitive Advantage