When Apple® launched the iPhone almost ten years ago, the sleek new device quickly became the hottest consumer gadget on the market. At the time, it was all fun and games: Nobody was thinking about using iPhones for business, least of all in healthcare.
I often tell the story about launching Voalte in 2008, and hearing time and again from healthcare leaders that they would “never allow iPhones in their hospitals.” Their reservations were understandable. At the time, there were no best practices for deploying, managing and charging smartphones for doctors and nurses. Difficult Wi-Fi connections, complex network settings, tricky VoIP configurations and a loud environment were very real challenges.
As the first company to deploy iPhones at the point of care, Voalte partnered with forward-thinking organizations like University of Iowa Health Care and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center to develop best practices that would keep caregivers connected through a 12-hour shift.
As we approach the iPhone’s 10-year anniversary this September, a lot has changed. The stratospheric rise of the iPhone peaked in 2011 with nearly a quarter of the global smartphone market.1 At the end of last year, 43.5 percent of smartphone owners in the United States were using iPhones.2 Even more notably, the iPhone has migrated from a consumer device to a vital business tool.
If you’re still thinking of Apple as a consumer company, consider that 99 percent of Fortune 500 companies are using iOS on their networks, according to Apple.3 More than 230,000 iOS business apps are now available in the App Store, and Apple lists major corporations such as GE, Capital One, and Lufthansa among its enterprise clients.
Many factors have contributed to Apple’s expansion into the enterprise market, among them:
- A robust operating system with a UNIX underpinning.
- Enterprise security features for signing and encrypting messages.
- Administrative control of the home screen, the ability to blacklist apps, and mobile device management (MDM) capabilities.
- Unified service and support for both hardware and software.
- A bad ass user interface that makes adoption a no-brainer.
With iOS now an important component of many successful businesses, the healthcare market is catching on to the potential of iPhones and iPads in the hospital. And Apple is making major headway in healthcare, as evidenced by the new Apple Healthcare website, which features Voalte Platform™ on its Products and Platform page. Our long-term partnership with Apple has resulted in a lot of lessons learned that the entire industry is now able to leverage.
Voalte customers, in particular, are benefitting from the best practices we’ve established for provisioning, managing and scaling the deployment of thousands of iPhones across major health systems. Last summer, Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles went live with iPhones running Voalte Platform to connect nearly 5,000 end users. University of Iowa Health Care started its switch from pagers to smartphones back in 2012, and today has more than 3,000 iPhones connecting caregivers across the major academic medical center.
As Apple says on its new website, “Healthcare providers can deliver the best care when they have powerful, intuitive tools.” As we mark a major milestone this year, our mission to reimagine healthcare remains the same, while the tools to accomplish that goal have become far more powerful.
Trey Lauderdale is Founder and CEO of Voalte.
- Statista: https://www.statista.com/statistics/216459/global-market-share-of-apple-iphone/
- “Apple’s iPhone Share Is Static but iPad Is Tumbling,” Don Reisinger, Fortune, October 24, 2016. http://fortune.com/2016/10/24/apple-market-share/
- Apple: http://www.apple.com/business/products-platform/