If the rumors are to believed, the TEPR+ 2009 event last week in Palm Springs, CA could have been the final Toward an Electronic Patient Record event put on by the Medical Records Institute. While the for-profit MRI has already announced the formation of a non-profit mHealth Initiative (mHI) and an associated mHealth event this December in Boston, MA, the group has not formally announced the disintegration of the TEPR+ conference.
Speculation abounds as to the fate of TEPR+, but some industry stalwarts were quick to point out that attendance was certainly far below shows past: "The organizers tell me that about 750 people have registered, down from 1,200 at last year's meeting in Fort Lauderdale, FL, and from a peak of just under 3,000 five years ago," Neil Versel wrote on his Healthcare IT Blog last week, "I can't say that I saw 750 people here, though. I would be surprised if there were more than a couple of hundred people present at the opening session this morning, and the exhibit hall contains just four rows of booths." For the record, the MRI's official press release following the event said "close to 800 people came together" during the five days the event was held.
All that aside, last week's event was surely a boon to the emerging mHealth sector and served as a key platform for industry players to share ideas, solutions and potential barriers to market when it comes to connecting patients to care through wireless technologies. I spoke with MRI Founder and CEO Peter Waegemann today about his key takeaways from the event relating to mHealth. Waegemann said the mHI's newest project, making Boston into the first mHealth city was one subject that needed repeating as was his prediction that the U.S. could spend billions on electronic medical records (EMRs) and see no real cost savings or spend a couple hundred million on mHealth chronic disease management systems and see potentially billions of dollars in savings.
Mobihealthnews was the only publication on-site covering the mHealth Revolution track in full, so be sure to visit our numerous articles on the event, including write-ups on Google Health, Microsoft HealthVault, Kaiser Permanente and many more.