Mobile App Strategy at HIMSSAnd we’re back! HIMSS-2016 was our fourth HIMSS in a row – getting more fun every year.  We at MobileSmith never miss this Super Bowl of healthcare IT trade shows. Here are some key ideas that were floating around at HIMSS last week, and some key mHealth app trends I was hearing about.

1. An App a Day – What the Dr. Ordered

More and more health systems are recognizing that they need to treat their patients like customers. Patients are making more “consumer-based decisions about healthcare”.  People are placing higher expectations on their healthcare system, which is putting stronger demands on providers to improve experiences along the entire patient journey. How does that translate into app strategy? Healthcare networks are now adopting multi-app strategies, offering targeted apps for each turn in the patient journey.  Patients are consumers, and healthcare apps are their consumer engagement tools.

2. Agile Methodologies are Making their Way into Hospitals.

These methodologies are being applied not just in software development teams, but are also being integrated into entire healthcare organizations. Instead of a very linear concept and specification process (that might take months to determine what to develop), rapid prototyping is a process that gets prototypes of solutions in the hands of stakeholders much quicker.

3. Strong Focus on EMR Interoperability and Standards.

When it comes to mobile app development for healthcare providers, EMR interoperability is a big discussion point. Healthcare information is becoming digitized and must conform to the FHIR standard – apps included. Grants are being created to encourage more app development in that area.

4. No Mischief with Patient Data

That said, security of patient data and providers’ liability are still major concerns. According to a recent Accenture study, 92% of patients believe they should have full access to their records, while only 18% of physicians share this belief. Hospitals should ensure that their mobile app strategy conforms to HIPAA regulations to avoid costly security pitfalls.

Share your impressions and app trends from HIMSS-16!