Adoption of mobile technology continues to accelerate across the healthcare sector, with more and more organizations choosing to equip as many caregivers and staff as possible with mobile devices. Two goals are driving this transformation. First, of course, is the desire to ensure the right patient receives the right care at the right time by connecting caregivers to the data and resources they need in real time. Second, mobile solutions can help healthcare organizations streamline workflows to save both time and money.
But what about the devices they’re choosing to do the job? Can consumer-grade smartphones really match the performance and ROI of enterprise-class mobile computers over the long haul?
The short answer is no, healthcare providers should not expect consumer-grade devices to deliver the performance and value they need. Instead, most providers should focus their mobile solutions on enterprise-class devices that are purpose-built for healthcare applications.
So, what’s the difference between consumer and enterprise devices? Let’s take a brief look at three factors.
1. Enterprise-class devices have a much longer service life.
We’re all familiar with the frequent upgrade cycles of consumer smartphones, eagerly anticipating the newest and greatest model every 12 to 18 months. And that’s no accident: consumer-grade devices are designed for short lifecycles and rapid obsolescence to drive a never-ending cycle of upgrades. But that’s a terrible fit for any device that’s used in a business environment. You can’t base your ROI expectations on mobile computers that will be obsolete in two years.
Enterprise-class devices like the mobile computers made by Zebra are designed to remain in service much longer. They use the Android operating system, with the promise of regular updates and uninterrupted support for 10 years or longer. So, instead of replacing devices every few years, you can keep pace with the latest technology through simple upgrades that are much easier to incorporate into your existing workflows.
2. Enterprise-class devices are engineered for durability.
Increased durability and reduced downtime are probably the most immediate things that healthcare organizations will benefit from when they base their mobility solutions on enterprise-class devices. That’s simply because enterprise-class devices are designed for full-shift usage in workplace environments.
For instance, Zebra’s TC52-HC Mobile Computer packs all the mobile computing, clinical collaboration, and data capture features caregivers need into a device that is designed to withstand frequent exposure to common disinfectants and is tested for drop and tumble performance, and rated for use in practically any environmental conditions, including extreme temperatures and humidity.
3. Enterprise-class devices are easier to manage.
One of the big red flags of choosing consumer-grade devices for your business is that eventually you’re going to be faced with the challenge of managing security patches, OS updates, and applications across a patchwork of different models. You’ll also have to figure out how to standardize everything from Wi-Fi configuration and update settings to display and sound defaults. That’s a time-consuming task when you’re talking about consumer devices that are designed for easy personalization rather than consistency across business uses.
Enterprise-class mobile computers from Zebra are much easier to integrate into a mobile device management system, which will greatly reduce your IT workloads. You’ll have a standardized approach to security and updates, and your IT team will easily be able to integrate every enterprise device into a mobile device management system that streamlines device configuration, OS updates, and installation of your business applications.
Don’t Compromise on Your Mobility Solutions
You have a range of mobile device options but its critical to choose carefully if you want to minimize disruptions and maximize ROI from your technology investments. Consumer-grade devices may offer relatively low acquisition costs, but they risk sabotaging your investment in mobility solutions over the long run.
SK&T has decades of experience designing, deploying and supporting mobility solutions. Contact us today to learn more about Zebra’s industry-leading lineup of enterprise mobile computers for healthcare applications.