No future for mHealth as m-health

There is, but not what was envisioned five to six years ago. If you still think of mHealth as a subset of ‘health’ and defined by its devices as a separate strategy or ‘revolution’, it’s time to check your glasses’ prescription. Thus an article like this published in HIMSS Media’s mHealthNews that focuses on mobile devices starts off feeling antique (as in 2008-9) in its emphasis on video and direct to consumer apps and problems thereof–then fast forwards to This Modern World: the Graettinger-esque dissonance of data insecurity, the entry into the City of Glass of integration–multiple platforms, data sets and apps/tools into personalized, proactive care and clinical decision support.

At MedCity News, the snark prevails in coverage of a World Congress Boston mHealth + Telehealth World conference where participants seemed to treat mHealth as m-health–chattering on about smartphones and tablets as devices not delivery vehicles, and apps as innovation’s cutting edge still somehow standing alone. At least one speaker got it right (we hope): “Mobile is putting [purchasing] power in the hands of the patient,” shifting it away from payers and into the hands of the ‘have-nots’. Those payers are proving though to be rather sticky on this point. This Editor will not hold her breath–and prefers digital health or even TECS to mHealth.

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