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Off Subject: Black Friday

Posted on November 29, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

What’s your thoughts of Black Friday? Yes, this post has nothing to do with EMR and EHR, but you should be on vacation and spending time with family. Plus, if you’re at work you could probably use a diversion as well. So, let’s talk about Black Friday.

I ironically posted a Healthcare IT Black Friday post over on EMR and HIPAA today. I’ll be interested to see how many people like the idea of giving the gift of e-learning this holiday season. Nothing like giving the gift of learning. Although, I’m sure many would love chocolate as well. Of course, no reason you can’t do both.

How do you approach Black Friday? Do you brave the stores and find great deals? Are you like me and think that most of the black friday deals aren’t all that big of a deal?

As someone who doesn’t mind crowds, I don’t mind the crowded shopping. In fact, I kind of relish in a packed mall, full of people hustling and bustling around during the holiday season. My wife on the other hand hates it. However, I don’t see any need to get out and do all my shopping on Black Friday.

I don’t see shopping for gifts as a chore, but as a fun time to find something that will brightens someone’s day. I definitely don’t go overboard on gift giving. I try to be thoughtful and provide something of meaning and value to the people who receive my gifts. If I can’t find something that reaches those goals, I usually don’t give a gift.

Since I can’t resist comparison, I think this is a little like healthcare IT. Too often we try to force something that doesn’t make sense. That almost always leads to a failed or defunct project. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be creative. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t push the envelope. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t create change in our organizations. In fact, I’d argue that it will take extra creativity, pushing the envelope, and change to do what we know we should be doing in healthcare IT.

Either way, I guess you could call this my day off from blogging. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Regardless, I hope you’re having a great holiday weekend.

Black Friday Sales Boost mHealth App Predictions

Posted on December 1, 2011 I Written By

As Social Marketing Director at Billian, Jennifer Dennard is responsible for the continuing development and implementation of the company's social media strategies for Billian's HealthDATA and Porter Research. She is a regular contributor to a number of healthcare blogs and currently manages social marketing channels for the Health IT Leadership Summit and Technology Association of Georgia’s Health Society. You can find her on Twitter @JennDennard.

The holiday season is officially upon us, or so said both of my daughters after they saw Santa Claus conclude the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone – not unnoticed by the average American consumer if recently released retail figures are any indication. The economy seems on the verge of a slight upswing, if our holiday spending this early in the season is any indication.

How does healthcare fit into all this? Two holiday headlines recently caught my eye. The first, “Apple Breaks Black Friday Record,” notes that iPad sales “surged 68%” that particular day, breaking the company’s own purported predictions that it would achieve Black Friday sales four times higher than normal. The second, “Mobile Healthcare and Medical App Downloads to Reach 44 Million Next Year, Rising to 142 Million in 2016,” makes the prediction that “[a]cceptance of new healthcare practices like remote patient monitoring will come directly from consumers becoming engaged in mHealth through the smartphone.”

Forty-four million medical app downloads next year might not be such a high number to reach when you take Apple’s record one-day iPad sales into consideration. Physicians and healthcare consumers alike seem to not only be jumping onto the tablet bandwagon, but gearing up to race it to the finish line as well.

So now that we’ve established the healthcare connection, what’s all this got to do with EMRs? Will these predictions and likely outcomes coincide with an upswing in mobile EMR app development? As of yesterday, 60 apps popped up when I searched for “EMR” apps for the iPad in the iTunes store. Forty-seven results came up for “EHR,” many of them the same. I’ll be interested to see what this number is six months and then a year from now.

As this blog has well documented for some time now, healthcare’s love affair with the iPad was a slow burn at first, but has now become fast and furious. I can only imagine that EMR developers will take their relationships with the iPad to the next level in record time just to meet customer demand. While I won’t necessarily be waiting with baited breath for Practice Fusion’s launch next year of its iPad app, I will definitely check it out while at HIMSS, where I assume they’ll give it a Vegas-style launch.

I’d love to hear from physicians as to how inundated the market is likely to become with these types of technologies. And aside from EMR/EHR apps, will mobile health downloads really take off as predicted? Share your own predictions in the comments below.

Full Disclosure: Practice Fusion is an advertiser on this site, but they didn’t pay Jennifer to mention their iPad app. In fact, I’m not even sure if Jennifer knows they’re an advertiser.