If you follow the mHealth ecosystem, you’ve no doubt seen the slow development cycle of the past seven years. Yes, there are many grandiose claims and transformational headlines, usually around trade shows, but in actuality there has been limited adoption in healthcare.
However, I do see some signs of the industry turning and some recent examples of mainstream implementation.
In my presentation at World of Health 2014 this week, I outlined four recommendations for the industry to help ensure continued adoption and ultimate success:
1. Be Holistic. The solutions must be holistic—more than just a piece of technology or an innovative device. They must address relevant business interest of the necessary stakeholders. They must take into consideration workflow integration issues. Mobile Apps should be integrated to help inform and support patients. A modern platform including Social Media, Mobile, Analytics, and Cloud (SMAC) capabilities should be leveraged.
2. Be User-Centered. The solutions must be developed with the patients in mind. Patients are not the obstacle as we have studies showing 75 percent are willing to see a doctor using video and 53 percent are willing to trust a self-administered test. We must provide solutions that are compelling and easy to use with sufficient battery life, minimal complexity, and tight security that does not impose a burden on the patient.
3. Be Standards-Based. We have examples with WiFi and USB that show how a standardized ecosystem drives quality up, costs down, and innovation up. The same is true with healthcare and we already have foundational standards for end-end mHealth solutions from the Continua Health Alliance and HL7.
4. Be Virtual. Virtual capabilities (e.g., remote interaction, not real time face-face in the hospital) are available today. Major Provider organizations are providing online applications for lab results, doctor e-mail, prescription refills, and appointment bookings. A plethora of IoT healthcare wearables are entering the market. In Sweden, Pascal is an example system that provides tablet-based mobile prescription by homecare workers.
The mHealth initiative is moving forward and will inevitably impact our lives and change the way we approach our health. While the market is not transforming as fast as some anticipated, there is no denying that we are making progress and I am looking forward to what is to come in the future.
What questions do you have about mHealth adoption?
Rick Cnossen is Director of Global Health IT at Intel.
Follow him on Twitter (@RickCnossen)