Opportunity is knocking for telehealth to become a common method of practicing medicine in the U.S.
One-on-one Web-based video chats and other electronic consultation between doctors and patients isn’t new — it’s been used throughout the U.S. in varying degrees for a few years now. But health-care reform, a ballooning and aging population and a shortage of available family physicians may be a perfect storm that could blow the doors open for telehealth to go mainstream.
As states’ health insurance exchanges — online marketplaces where citizens can compare and purchase insurance plans — begin to debut in advance of the 2014 deadline set forth by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), access to health-care providers should expand for many Americans. Obtaining insurance coverage soon may be easier, but the gap between the number of incoming patients and available primary care doctors is widening.
[Original post, “Too Much Hype in the Mobile Health App World?” published on The Huffington Post on 7/23/12 in the Healthy Living/Health News Section.]
The Wild West of mobile health (mHealth) is taking the health care industry by storm, but “there are no rules to the game,” said Joseph C. Kvedar, M.D., founder and director at the Center for Connected Health in a recent interview. Mobile health is a “game changer,” he added, but there is a lot of hype because there are a lot of people developing health apps just to “get rich quick.”
Home Monitoring for Seniors Will Drive 36 Million Wearable Wireless Device Market
A combination of factors including the growing senior demographic combined with economic, social, and technological developments are driving investment and demand for home monitoring devices that can extend and improve in-home care.
As the market transitions from safety focused offerings toward health monitoring and extending and enhancing the comfort, safety, and well-being for seniors living in their own homes and care homes, monitoring devices will grow to more than 36 million units in 2017, up from under 3 million units in 2011, at a CAGR of 55.9%.
Over the same time, home monitoring will almost double its share of the wearable wireless device health market to 22% from 12%.
“Healthcare providers and caregivers alike are looking for devices to improve the monitoring of seniors in their own homes as economics and demographics increasingly drive that demand” says Jonathan Collins, principal analyst at ABI Research and author of a new report examining the wearable wireless device healthcare market. Read the rest of this entry »
As a technologist, futurist, mHealth advocate, and past Home Systems consultant, I’m a fan of embedded technologies that make products smarter and easier to use, especially those that improve healthcare, but I side with “Smart Home” skeptics and add my own comments after this press release. – Wayne Caswell, mHealthTalk editor
The Future of Smart Systems
By 2020, experts think tech-enhanced homes, appliances, and utilities will spread, but many of the analysts believe we still won’t likely be living in the long-envisioned ‘Homes of the Future’
June 29, 2012 — Hundreds of tech analysts foresee a future with “smart” devices and environments that make people’s lives more efficient.
But they also note that current evidence about the uptake of smart systems is that the costs and necessary infrastructure changes to make it all work are daunting. And they add that people find comfort in the familiar, simple, “dumb” systems to which they are accustomed.
Some 1,021 Internet experts, researchers, observers, and critics were asked about the “home of the future” in an online, opt-in survey. The result was a fairly even split between those who agreed that energy- and money-saving “smart systems” will be significantly closer to reality in people’s homes by 2020 and those who said such homes will still remain a marketing mirage. Read the rest of this entry »
In this 44-page market research report from PwC (formerly Pricewaterhouse Cooper), patients, doctors and payers share their sometimes-conflicting views on mHealth. We provide highlights below.
We live in a world that’s connected wirelessly with almost as many cellular phone subscriptions as there are people on the planet. According to the International Telecommunications Union, there were almost 6 billion mobile phones in use worldwide in late 2011. The ubiquity of mobile technology offers tremendous opportunities for the healthcare industry to address one of the most pressing global challenges: making healthcare more accessible, faster, better and cheaper.
Several factors effect how mHealth care will be provided, including:
- The ubiquity and personal nature of mobile devices;
- The very nature of always-in-touch mobility; and
- Competition that will increase functionality and drive lower prices. Read the rest of this entry »
NEHI Identifies 11 Emerging Chronic Disease Technologies To Watch
Cites Potential to Improve Care, Lower Costs for At-Risk Populations
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (June 13, 2012) – NEHI, a national health policy institute dedicated to finding innovative solutions to health care problems, today identified eleven emerging technologies that have the potential to improve care and lower costs for chronic disease patients, especially those in at-risk populations.
The “technologies to watch” target a range of chronic illnesses, including diabetes, asthma, stroke and heart disease, and reflect the growing emphasis on empowering patients to monitor their own care through the use of mobile platforms, social networking and home-based telehealth technologies. The technologies include web-based platforms that enable patients to connect virtually to their physician through their smartphone or personal computer, cell phone apps for medication reminders and asthma control, and in-car wireless systems that monitor patients’ health while they are driving. According to NEHI’s selection criteria, the technologies are under-used but have high future potential and align to the safety net population with low cost and easy access. Read the rest of this entry »
Five Reasons Why mHealth is Not Going Away
(despite the Hype-haters)
By David Lee Scher, MD
One feels almost assaulted by financial projections of the mHealth market every day. Extrapolations from the increasing use of smartphones, the use of iPads by physicians, the adoption of patient portals by insurers, and research of the Internet for medical purposes are commonplace. Occasionally there will be a welcomed “Let’s bring it back to Earth” post, but I can almost predict verbatim the final paragraphs of some of these predictions.
Mobile health is part of the overall movement of the digitization of healthcare. While adoption of these technologies will take a while to occur for a variety of reasons, (many of which have been the subject of other posts by this author), it would not be fair to let the hype become the face of the industry and an easy target of critics.
These technologies WILL become a major part of healthcare for the following reasons: Read the rest of this entry »
What is Mobile Health? That’s the subject of a Linkedin discussion started by Wendy Thomas, founder of the Mobile Health Association in Austin, TX.
Her purpose was to clear up confusion between syllogisms, and the analogy she used was that Lions are all Animals, but not all Animals are Lions. The same goes with the health terms such as digital health, ehealth (electronic healthcare), mhealth (mobile healthcare), and telemedicine, so she argued that…
Mobile Health IS Wireless Health AND Mobile Health IS Telemedicine, but Wireless Health AND Telemedicine are not necessarily MOBILE HEALTH.
While I agree with the premise of Wendy’s argument, people often associate Mobile Health with the ambulance that shows up to provide care and transportation, rather than the use of mobile devices and wireless networks. That’s why I drew the diagram with Mobile Health not entirely within Wireless Health or within Telemedicine. Confusion still persists, and I’m adding to it with yet another term – Modern Health. Read the rest of this entry »