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Mobile Health Happenings

Posted on April 22, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com 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 InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

It looks like I might have been wrong about mobile health really cropping up at HIMSS15. Then again, maybe I just missed a bunch of them in the mass of attendees that were at the event. Plus, I knew that I’d see the mobile health related companies at mHealth Summit, Connected Health Symposium, Health 2.0 or CES sooner or later. So, I was more interested in the non mobile health related companies at HIMSS.

With that said, every company has some approach to mobile health. Sure, the Apple Watch announcements from Vocera, Epocrates, and Medisafe (to name just a few that I saw) are going to get the headline. Press releases with Apple Watch in their title seem to get extra attention. Press love the latest shiny object even if we have no idea whether the Apple Watch is going to be adopted by the masses (Personally I think it will be a niche device for the rich). However, there are a few mobile happenings that are worth watching.

Text – Don’t underestimate the power of text. It’s amazing what you can do with 140 characters. Of course, in healthcare you need to use secure text (SMS is not HIPAA secure). Turns out that secure text can actually provide a lot of benefits beyond SMS. I’m still very bullish on the simplicity of a text. Feels like a simple solution, but that’s what makes it beautiful. The fact we haven’t fully leveraged it also illustrates how far behind healthcare is compared to other industries.

Mobile Apps – I think there are two kinds of mobile health apps that are breaking out. First is the mobile apps that are tied to enterprise systems. This could be an EHR app or increasingly we’re seeing the population health or analytics vendors pushing the data and communication channels to mobile devices. More innovative is the wellness gaming apps that I’ve seen. I don’t think anyone’s fully cracked the nut yet, but there are some people really working on wellness motivation and behavior change. I expect we’ll see a game changer in this regard in the next 1-2 years.

Sensors – The smartphone or an iPad are becoming the brain for all of these personal health sensors. In fact, the phone is becoming a health sensor itself. Reminds me of CapsuleTech which has been putting black boxes under hospital beds for years in order to get the data from a medical device. Now we all have a “black box” in our pocket that collects and communicates our health data. Personal health sensors are exploding. Implantables is next.

Telemedicine – We want out healthcare when we want it, where we want it. Telemedicine is going to be the solution that solves that problem. Katherine Rourke has a great post up on EMR and HIPAA about the various telemedicine solutions. So, I won’t rehash those options here. However, there’s a wide spectrum of telemedicine offerings and many of them are mobile.

Those are a few of the biggest trends I see in mobile health. I’m sure there’s something I’ve missed. So, I look forward to hearing what I’ve missed in the comments below.

Quantified Self Is the Future

Posted on October 20, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com 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 InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I know I’ve mentioned the quantified self a few times in the past. Basically quantified self is that we’re all going to start finding methods, apps, sensors, etc that will collect data about our bodies. I have never been more certain of this movement than I have been talking to the people at the Connected Health Symposium in Boston. It’s going to take a few years for all of the technologies to develop, but it’s going to happen.

A simple example of this is a startup company I met called Ubiqi Health. They have a migraine tracker that helps people to track their migraines and identify their cause. Plus, this is just their first integration. I think it’s really smart for them to work on migraines first. Lots of people have migraines and very few people have a problem admitting that they have a headache (or migraine). For some reason it’s socially acceptable to say you have a headache, but not so much to say you’re depressed for example.

One thing that’s also become clear is that it’s not just going to be devices that work to “quantify” someone. It’s going to be a great mix of devices, but also is going to have to include the narrative that a person provides. The interesting thing is that from the narrative you can often capture events that might have influenced the “disease” and also can explain the quantitative data.

This is going to be really interesting to watch. I’m still thinking about how all of this data is going to affect the doctors and how they treat patients. Either way, it’s going to transform the way we deal with “health care.”