Is the Term ‘mHealth’ Still Relevant?

Today’s world is mobile by default. Everyone is connected. Everyone expects to have information at their fingertips. Everyone expects to have understanding and meaning immediately available to them. That’s why I think the term “mHealth” is redundant.

If we are going to define a term, then that implies that there is something on the other side of that term. What’s the opposite of mHealth? Is it stationary health? Or siloed health?

Five years ago, when smartphones and mobile devices were first coming on the scene, mHealth was an appropriate description. We were still defining what it meant to be truly connected. We underappreciate how radical the transformation has been in a very short period of time. In about seven years, these mobile devices have completely changed our expectations. They have changed the way my children interact with technology.

Mobile, to me, is not a product. It’s not a category. Mobile is an experience that could be better defined by terms like available, accessible, convenient, engaging, informative and even entertaining. When I think of mobile, I immediately think that I can get my needs met. When it comes to healthcare, mobile technology is a means to provide patient care. In my book, that’s just called healthcare.

So, it’s time to rebrand the term “mHealth.” My vote is for “connected health” because everything is connected right now. We saw this at the most recent HIMSS Conference, where connected devices are connecting caregivers in different settings. That’s what connected care is all about.

What do you think? Is mHealth redundant today?