Every new technology progresses through five stages of adoption, according to a commonly accepted model developed in the 1950s and popularized by Everett Rogers in Diffusion of Innovations. This theory explains how, over time, an innovative technology or product gains momentum and its use spreads throughout the population. First to use the technology are innovators, followed by early adopters. The majority begins to adopt the innovation only after it’s tested and proven.
When it comes to the use of smartphones for healthcare communication, the market took root in educational and research-based medical centers and pediatric hospitals, which tend to be early adopters of new technology. The earliest Voalte customers were pioneering leaders who were willing to take risks, and endure some trials and tribulations to change an industry that’s notoriously resistant to change.
Last week’s announcement about Ascension, Cerner and Bedford Funding’s investment of $17 million in Voalte signals that we’re entering the next phase of smartphone adoption. As the majority of hospitals see evidence that smartphones support more efficient care, they are willing to adopt this new way to communicate based on the success of early adopters. Now we’re starting to see mHealth technologies spread from innovative, individual hospitals to large, established health systems that are dumping their legacy communication networks in favor of a system-wide smartphone platform. (See Eric Wicklund’s mHealth News article, “Are smartphones hitting their stride in healthcare?”
While the innovators and early adopters of smartphones put their faith in a young company with a big idea, the majority adopters require an experienced partner with proven success. As the leader in healthcare communication technology, Voalte is the only company to deploy thousands of smartphones at scale in multiple facilities across the country. We’ve spent seven years learning the ins and outs of bringing smartphones into hospitals, and listening to what caregivers want and need from a communication platform. The recent funding from major healthcare industry players solidifies our ability to spread the use of mHealth technologies to the majority of the nation’s hospitals.
Helping us meet the challenge is our new Senior VP of Sales and Marketing, Sean Friel. Sean is recognized throughout the industry for his ability to scale client-focused sales teams that create and maintain long-lasting, mutually rewarding relationships. He comes to us from Siemens Healthcare, where his team’s focus on account management enhanced customer satisfaction and formed the basis of numerous long-term partnerships. Sean also played an instrumental role at Shared Medical Systems, an early leader in automating hospital systems.
I’m excited to have Sean join us at this time, as mHealth technologies transition from the earliest stages of adoption to widespread use at hospitals nationwide.
Trey Lauderdale is Founder and CEO of Voalte.