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 »
By Lisa Nelson, http://blog.howto.gov/2012/04/20/digital-divide-still-prevalent/
The rapid adoption of mobile and mobile devices is providing Internet access to those who had little or no none before.
With almost 90% of American twenty-somethings accessing the Internet through smartphones or tablets, the digital divide may narrow significantly by the end of the decade.
Despite this sunny future, a PEW Internet report looks at differences in digital access and use among American adults and finds one in five people do not use the Internet.
While increased Internet adoption and the rise of mobile connectivity have reduced many gaps in technology access over the past decade, for some groups digital disparities still remain.
The report finds that those most likely to be part of the digital divide include: Read the rest of this entry »
Travis Proctor logged onto his computer, turned on his new webcam and clicked his mouse. Within seconds, the 42-year-old father of three was face to face with Dr. Kelvin Burton, his primary care physician.
Just months ago, Proctor would have had to drive for nearly an hour round-trip from his home in Powder Springs to Burton’s Douglasville family care practice just for a checkup. Not anymore. (Read more at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution).
The referenced article by Gracie Bonds Staples prompted a Linkedin discussion where I couldn’t help but respond. Here’s what I said:
• Telemedicine includes video calls with patients, video consultations among specialists, remote monitoring of sensor devices, and more, all aimed at increasing service, improving outcomes, and lowering costs.
I spent several days this week at SXSW promoting accessible web design in the Knowbility booth and gained a new perspective of Modern Health Talk in the process.
South by Southwest (SXSW)
“South By” is a week-long music & film festival with over 2,000 bands and dozens of movie premiers from all over the world, as well as a fairly new SXSW Interactive segment for web, mobile and social app developers. Downtown Austin is closed to traffic all week and mobbed by an entirely different and very creative, live-fast, party-hard, and die-young species that thrives on alcohol, energy drinks and a high-energy vibe that can over stimulate older people. Bloomberg described it as “Woodstock for Geeks.”
Making traffic and parking even worse, Austin holds its annual rodeo during the same week. So each year I avoid the mess and have never attended even the tech conference, although it is credited for launching Twitter, Foursquare and other web hits and might normally have been interesting to me.
I just found the whole thing too loud, wild and geeky, and with way too much purple hair, tattoos & body piercings for my taste. But this year was different. Some of its attention shifted to Health, and that’s why I was there with Knowbility, taking the Metro Rail from near home to avoid traffic and parking hassles.
A New Look at Web Design (new for me anyway)
Universal access to education, jobs, government and society today means going online on the Internet, but imagine what it’s like for someone who’s blind, has severely limited vision, has some other disability that makes access difficult, or where English is not their primary language. I sat down with a blind person to get a critique of Modern Health Talk and listen to the text read aloud with JAWS screening reading software.
After decades of tech evolution consistent with Moore’s Law, you can now wear a $3.5 million mainframe computer on your wrist. The WIMM One is much faster than the IBM System/370 Model 158-3 mainframe that I worked on in the 1970′s, and in some ways it’s better. It’s got sensors, an accelerometer, and wireless connections to connect with other digital devices and remote services. So, it’s not just a wristwatch; it’s also a wrist-doc that can monitor, track and report vital signs to help keep you healthy.
I’ve already written several articles about the role of smartphones in healthcare, including:
- MIT researchers use smart phones to monitor health 01/10/2012
- Smartphones are starting to bring Hospital Care Home 12/28/2011
- Jawbone UP wristband & iPhone app tracks your wellness 11/30/2011
- Smartphone does Vital Signs 10/09/2011
- FUTURE WATCH: “Smart Skin” monitors Vital Signs 8/12/2011
- Using the iPhone to give the “finger” to Finger Pricks 07/26/2011
- iPhone app to monitor Parkinson’s disease 06/27/2011
- Blood Pressure Monitor for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch 06/20/2011
- Post-op app helps patients monitor infections 5/24/2011
But now here’s an Android-based wearable computer that complements the smartphone, tablet, PC and medical devices you may already have. It’s just entering the market now but points to what we may expect — wearable devices that are always with you to unobtrusively monitor your activity, sleeping patterns and vital signs such as heart rate.
Serving 10 million patients and more than 19,000 physicians in over 80 facilities, the nation’s largest health information exchange organization, the Indiana Health Information Exchange, Inc. (IHIE) is responsible for an ocean of information.
This week IHIE announced that it will use AT&T Healthcare Community Online to scale and expand its business plans. The AT&T solution is a highly secure, cloud-based health information exchange (HIE) that integrates patient data from various sources into a single patient view. It symbolizes the connected and collaborative future of healthcare - where information is exchanged across states, regions, and eventually the entire nation – according to Randall Porter, Assistant Vice President, AT&T ForHealth.
By Vinod Khosla, founder of Khosla Ventures
(original on TechCrunch.com)
I was asked about a year ago at a talk about energy what I was doing about the other large social problems, namely health care and education. Surprised, I flippantly responded that the best solution was to get rid of doctors and teachers and let your computers do the work, 24/7 and with consistent quality.
Later, I got to cogitating about what I had said and why, and how embarrassingly wrong that might be. But the more I think about it the more I feel my gut reaction was probably right. The beginnings of “Doctor Algorithm” or Dr. A for short, most likely (and that does not mean “certainly” or “maybe”) will be much criticized. We’ll see all sorts of press wisdom decrying “they don’t work” or “look at all the silly things they come up with.” But Dr A. will get better and better and will go from providing “bionic assistance” to second opinions to assisting doctors to providing first opinions and as referral computers (with complete and accurate synopses and all possible hypotheses of the hardest cases) to the best 20% of the human breed doctors. And who knows what will happen beyond that?