Mobility Week: The Changing World of mHealth

The way CIOs and clinicians think about mobile technology has changed over the past few years. Initially, we thought mobile was going to revolve around touch-friendly applications like in the consumer world. But clinical care is a complicated business. If you look at what a physician does, they are moving through an electronic health record, then a database. The ability to run both touch-friendly apps on a Windows device and your traditional enterprise clinical systems that you have been using for 20 years in your hospital is a really important part of the story.

Virtually every customer we see using mobile devices uses both touch and a traditional desktop application in touch mode. So, they can use a stylus to navigate tasks that were designed for a keyboard and mouse but need to be performed on a mobile device. That combination is key.

Security on mobile devices has changed as well. Clinicians want full functionality while the IT department wants as much security as possible. The hardest thing to do is accommodate both needs. But when you think about it, Windows has always featured functionality and security. Our customers have been managing and deploying this infrastructure for 20 years. All of the policies that our customers have spent years building, planning and designing do work. Third party add-ons like smart card readers can connect to all of the devices and IT can breathe a sigh of relief because it can take advantage of the current infrastructure.

Gareth Hall is global director of mobility for healthcare at Microsoft.