Mobile Technology in the Perioperative Arena: Rapid Evolution and Future Disruption


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Abstract

Throughout the history of medicine, physicians have relied upon disruptive innovations and technologies to improve the quality of care delivered, patient outcomes, and patient satisfaction. The implementation of mobile technology in health care is quickly becoming the next disruptive technology. We first review the history of mobile technology over the past 3 decades, discuss the impact of hardware and software, explore the rapid expansion of applications (apps), and evaluate the adoption of mobile technology in health care. Next, we discuss how technology serves as the vehicle that can transform traditional didactic learning into one that adapts to the learning behavior of the student by using concepts such as the flipped classroom, just-in-time learning, social media, and Web 2.0/3.0. The focus in this modern education paradigm is shifting from teacher-centric to learner-centric, including providers and patients, and is being delivered as context-sensitive, or semantic, learning. Finally, we present the methods by which connected health systems via mobile devices increase information collection and analysis from patients in both clinical care and research environments. This enhanced patient and provider connection has demonstrated benefits including reducing unnecessary hospital readmissions, improved perioperative health maintenance coordination, and improved care in remote and underserved areas. A significant portion of the future of health care, and specifically perioperative medicine, revolves around mobile technology, nimble learners, patient-specific information and decision-making, and continuous connectivity between patients and health care systems. As such, an understanding of developing or evaluating mobile technology likely will be important for anesthesiologists, particularly with an ever-expanding scope of practice in perioperative medicine.

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