2011 was a challenging year for healthcare IT professionals. Providers rolled out electronic health record systems to qualify for the government's Meaningful Use financial incentives. Meanwhile, mobile health apps took off, e-prescribing increased, health info exchanges got a start, and some organizations suffered data breaches. On the plus side, more health IT jobs became available.
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The growing popularity of smartphones and tablets among patients and doctors have been keeping mobile apps developers busy creating new apps for health-conscious consumers and on-the-go clinicians.
For example, the consumer app iTriage lets users look up their symptoms, the possible causes, and directions to the closest appropriate healthcare provider. You can read about other innovative medical apps in InformationWeek Healthcare's slideshow 9 Mobile Health Apps Worth A Closer Look.
The rapid adoption of mobile devices and health apps has the Food and Drug Administration considering ways to regulate mobile medical applications. Through its draft guidance document, the FDA in 2011 notified manufacturers, distributors, and other entities of the way in which it intends to apply its regulatory authority to medical software applications that clinicians use on mobile platforms.