Mobile Applications in Health Care, Article Critique Example
Words: 688Article Critique
Jeni Williams’s 2012 article, “The Value of Mobile Apps in Health Care,” is less of a study than it is a consistently encouraging presentation of the advantages of the subject matter. Ms Williams does investigate and report on a variety of mobile applications being used today by hospitals, physicians, and nurses. Moreover, the information offered appears to be accurate. It is, however, distinctly one-sided, a bias likely accounted for by the article’s sponsorship by the Cardinal Health organization. While modern technology of this kind clearly offers advantages in health care, the pervasive impression of the article is that of promotion, rather than analysis.
If there is a research issue or problem to be addressed, the article focuses on its being that of understanding how health care today is implementing mobile application technology to the benefit of both practitioner and patient. To that end, the article moves across the spectrum of abilities enabled by the mobile apps, from directing patients to the nearest emergency rooms to Given the relative novelty of the technology, there is little in the way of actual literature review; rather, Williams cites observations, typically optimistic, made by health care professionals currently exploring the mobile apps. There are statistics obtained from hospitals representing a national range, as well as multiple example of both personal and more widespread benefits from mobile apps. If the question, then, of whether or not the technology is helpful is viewed in an argumentative, rather than purely investigative, manner, Williams’ posing of it is acceptable. Nonetheless, as the article is defined by a single perspective, it cannot be treated as anything beyond this.
As noted, the procedure followed by the author, which goes to what may be called the procedural design, is elementary. Williams begins by offering something of a testimonial to Pittsburgh’s UPMC e-visit application, which permits patients to consult with clinicians from home. The costs, reduced wait times, and immediate prescription benefits are systematically endorsed by the hospital’s CFO, who acknowledges only some difficulty in implementing the technologies correctly. Williams moves on to document how mobile apps significantly reduce ER wait times, with a table representing South Florida’s Baptist Hospital’s success rate in using its PineApp, which informs patients of ER activity before they leave for the hospital. Then, an Oklahoma medical center’s utilizing of apps that track patient specimens, and ensure that the right medication is going to the right patient, is put forth. As elsewhere, quotes from leading figures of the hospital uniformly aver great advantages to be had from these technologies. Further testimony is then presented, going to mobile apps that allow a physician or nurse to pull up virtually any relevant information regarding disease, treatment, or individual patient concerns. Williams does not analyze this information; rather, it is laid out in a cumulatively favorable fashion. The enormous gains made to patients are juxtaposed with the positive effects of the mobile apps for the doctors and nurses, in a manner seemingly deliberately weighted to present an equality of advantage. As noted, only the effort required to properly program the technologies is the single, slightly discouraging, aspect of the entire treatment of the subject.
Based on Williams’s article, the hospital or physician who refrains from exploring mobile apps severely limits their capabilities, and this is a conclusion amply supported by the range of recommendations made by health care professionals. No other perspective, however, is entertained. While it may seem specious to imply that advanced health care technology must have negative consequences, it is equally reasonable that some be anticipated. For example, Williams addresses cost factors only in terms of ultimate savings to patients and in a strong suggestion that hospitals not be guided by financial departments in making their decisions to take on the mobile apps. Then, there is no remarking upon the likely frustrations encountered by patients less savvy with Internet technology, who may be more disenfranchised by facilities now relying on it. Ultimately, as noted, Williams’ article offers a resounding endorsement for the variety of benefits to be had from mobile apps in health care, but it is in no way an academically-sound investigation into the subject matter.
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