Connected Health is Like Going from Printed Maps to Waze

Posted on December 28, 2016 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

At the Connected Health Summit this year, I had a chance to talk with Chris Nicholson, CEO of mPulse Mobile. I was really impressed with what mPule Mobile was doing and I loved that they were actually doing things and not just talking about things that they could do. Sure was a refreshing experience from many other meetups with startups in this space.

During our discussion, Chris offered an interesting comparison between healthcare before connected health and healthcare after. I wasn’t recording our discussion, but here’s the gist of his comparison.

In the past health tech was kind of like a static map that was outdated as soon as it was printed. New tech is like Waze which is being constantly updated. Waze evolves based on a variety of factors and data to be able to create a custom experience for the user.

For those not familiar with Waze (Now owned by Google), it uses everyone’s driving information in order to make sure you’re taking the fastest route possible. The app has been so successful, it has caused new traffic problems in neighborhoods when Waze would reroute drivers through a neighborhood most people wouldn’t have thought to take to avoid a trouble area. It caused so much traffic in these neighborhoods, a lot of neighbors got really upset.

While there are challenges with any application, I think that Chris’ comparison is a good one. The EHR is essentially a static map of a person’s visit to the doctor. That information is outdated almost immediately after the patient leaves the doctor’s office. It’s great for historical understanding, but certainly isn’t a real time look at what could most benefit a patient’s health.

As I prepare for CES next week, I’m excited to see the slew of health sensors and health applications that will be at the conference. These combinations of technology will get us closer to the Waze of healthcare where our health status and the status of where our health is headed is updated in real time. I haven’t seen the Waze of healthcare yet. Have you?