mHealth Summit 2010
The 2010 mHealth Summit hit Washington DC this week, and if you missed it then you missed out. There was definitely more of a buttoned up feel to this particular conference… with lots of suits being worn and a regulatory vibe buzzing through the massive Walter E. Washington Convention Center. But in the end I thought it was a great conference. I left with a couple of overarching themes that I would like to share with you here.
Where Are The Outcomes?
Having come from the world of social media in the enterprise most recently, it was familiar for me to hear the cries for proof that mHealth works, during the Summit. While professionals in the social media world quest for Return on Investment (ROI), mHealth is asking for Outcomes, and the two are very similar: Show me it works. It’s what everybody wants, and quite frankly what we need in order to validate mHealth as a serious opportunity. I equally noticed, however, the lack of broadly impactful outcomes being talked about throughout the conference, with the exception of Text4Baby. The examples just aren’t there yet, but I think that’s OK at this point. There are a lot of studies going on, with many promising tools on the horizon. So, I share the thoughts of my friend John Moore from Chilmark Research, that there is tremendous opportunity within mHealth and that it is only a matter of time before things start to come together in a big way. As with everything, the key is focusing on problems that need to be solved, rather than the technology.
Privacy vs. Security
Best debate of the conference as far as I was concerned, with Peter Neupert of Microsoft stealing the show overall. I appreciated the panel’s distinction between privacy and security early on in the discussion, as I agree that they are not one in the same. I also agree that it is important for us to question the trade-offs between risks and opportunity in mHealth. It’s easy to say something is risky, but it takes time to understand both the probability of the risk happening and the actual impact of the risk, should it occur.
During the conversational debate, I personally couldn’t help but question how much of both the privacy and security onus should be placed on the individual using the mobile phone for their health. If HIPPA Regulations were designed for securing Personal Health Information (PHI) when it is collected by a Covered Entity and no longer in the individual’s possession, should those same rules apply to that same individual’s PHI when it is actually in their possession on their mobile device, or transmitted by them, because their is a risk of loss or theft? There is a lot to think about as mHealth evolves and to call this panel “thought provoking” wouldn’t be doing it justice…
mHealth Can Be Sexy
I got to hold the new Samsung Galaxy Tablet in my hot little hand at the conference and it was very cool. I personally love the idea of style in a hospital setting and think that the crop of new tablets hitting the market will bring a much needed aesthetic to the Doctor’s Office. I also believe that we don’t have to stop at the hardware. mHealth visualizations can compliment the sexy technology that they reside on, providing an enhanced future experience between both Doctor and Patient. Giddyup!