Going to the doctor can be a complicated and time-consuming process: long wait times, drab examination rooms and lengthy, handwritten medical forms are only a few of the things you may encounter – not to mention dealing with the actual reason for your visit or that of a loved one. Fortunately, mobile advances in healthcare are introducing new ways for doctors to engage with patients to make visits more enjoyable, productive and secure.

People are starting to expect more from their physicians, like having their electronic medical records available on online or via tablet and phone apps, or the ability to connect with their family while in a hospital. One of the coolest examples we’ve seen of this mobile evolution is taking place at Seattle-based Pediatric Associates. Working with Greenway Medical Technologies, they implemented an app that allows medical assistants to record patient information, vital numbers, allergy information, and much more in a safe and secure location on a Microsoft Surface Pro 2. Physicians are saving time by only inputting patient data once, and being able to quickly access and review patient information prior to meeting with them. Physicians are becoming more accurate and efficient, and are changing the way they view technology in the hospital.

“One of our older physicians walked into my office with a Surface device and told me ‘make this work, I want to use this tablet with our patients,” said Brock Morris, CIO of Pediatric Associates. “Not only is productivity and accuracy increasing, it’s raising our coolness factor and increasing engagement between doctors and their tech-savvy patients.”

Mobility in healthcare can also help patients manage an extended hospital visit and stay connected with family and friends. For example, New York Presbyterian Hospital envisioned a better way to use personal computing to improve care and patient experiences. As a part of their ongoing goal to provide high quality patient care, they wanted to deliver a unique service to improve the way caregivers and patients communicated. A few years ago we developed MyNYP.org – a patient portal which allowed patients view their medical records, and create reminders and appointments online.

Doctors, nurses and the entire patient care team is tracking their work electronically and updating patient records in real time. With the Windows 8 tablet in their hands they can access medical records, communicate with the care team, record pain scores, and provide feedback. They are also putting Windows 8 tablets in the hands of their patients – to use them to call their nurse, interact with their care team and with the potential to access the Internet and communicate with loved ones. Patients can also use the tablets to better engage with their nursing staff, whether it be to communicate needs or find them quickly.  Be sure to check out a video of their work here.

Physicians at Palmetto Health, a hospital in Columbia, South Carolina, are finding that they can be much more productive by using Microsoft Surface Pros for their medical records. Many doctors were frustrated trying to use bulky, wall-mounted computers in their exam rooms, and felt the computer was coming between them and their patients. They wanted to go mobile, and realized that Windows 8 had the horsepower to handle the complexity of their medical record system. Dr. Nick Patel started using his Surface Pro to increase their productivity by being able to quickly input patient data, allowing them to see an average of two patients more per day. This not only brings more money into the practice, it provides Dr. Patel and his colleagues the opportunity to go home earlier to spend more time with their families. You can view a video on their implementation here.

AirStrip has announced the launch of AirStrip ONE Cardiology, the first and only mobile cardiac care solution to operate on all Windows 8.1 devices. Currently in the FDA clearance process, the app supports expedited cardiac care delivery with a number of leader features with digital visual enhancement. It also allows the user the ability to edit and confirm findings, push notification on critical values and critical dysrhythmias, send electrocardiogram info to labs via secure link sharing, and access to monitoring and other patient data. This is great news for clinicians who are increasingly looking for devices that meet both their own needs for usability, and also meet the connectivity, manageability, privacy and security requirements of enterprise healthcare IT environments.

These are just a few examples of the power that mobility in healthcare can provide for both providers and patients. Here are some additional healthcare apps that we are working on today:

PrimeMOBILE: This Windows Phone app developed by Greenway Medical Technologies allows remote, two-way integration of complete ambulatory information and remote charge submission housed in their electronic health record. It provides patient history and problem lists, progress notes and appointment schedules encompassing a healthcare providers’ entire patient population.

Care Optimizer: This Windows 8 cloud-based app offered by Capgemini provides real-time information so case managers in Sweden can better allocate time and resources to respond more efficiently to citizens’ care needs. It’s used to assess health needs such as general nursing and special care, time spent on care activities, and quality of care to support better outcomes in social services.

Health Choices: This app provides information about NHS services and health information to your fingertips. This App has been developed in collaboration with NHS Choices who supply all NHS service details and condition / treatment information.

EMR Surface: The Pariscribe EMR Slate transforms the clinical documentation process. This app is fully integrated with the Pariscribe Practice Management system, this Window 8 version of Pariscribe clinical documentation leverages all the advantages the Pariscribe application and touch screen tablet devices can offer.

Stay tuned here for additional insight into business mobility across business sectors. Be sure to visit the Microsoft Business Newsroom for updates on how we are innovating with businesses around the world.