November spawns wireless health momentum

By Brian Dolan
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Brian Dolan, Editor, MobiHealthNewsThis past week was a big one for wireless health -- on all fronts. Here's how the week's news broke down:

Clinicians: Mt. Sinai and Mayo Clinic each forged ahead with wireless remote monitoring tools and patient-facing mobile applications. A team at Mt. Sinai worked on a pilot program with with wireless health start-up CareSpeak that used text message reminders to increase the rate of adherence among young liver transplant patients to their medication regimen. Meanwhile, the Mayo Clinic announced that it had been working with STMicroelectronics to create a wireless, remote cardiac monitoring system.

Consumer: BestBuy announced that 40 of its US stores now carried personal health technology products, including pedometers, blood pressure monitors, connected weight scales, heart rate monitors and more. The news followed last week's deal between AllOne Health and MedFlash that brought AllOne Mobile into retail locations including Walgreens, Harris Teeter and more.

Policy: “One really promising area that we all should be focusing on is the area of mobile health,” White House Deputy Director for Policy in the Office of Science and Technology Tom Kalil said at a luncheon in DC. Seems wireless health has been a topic of discussion in the White House recently. Kalil said that the Administration is now trying to determine what “ambitious” but “realistic” goals we should be setting to use wireless technologies to solve national challenges, including healthcare. Meanwhile, the Continua Health Alliance discussed its efforts to include remote patient monitoring in the healthcare reform bill, which passed the House this week.

Efficacy: Of course, the push for wireless health solutions will find success if the industry can suss out which wireless health tools actually improve outcomes. Clinical trials like the one Mt. Sinai and Carespeak conducted are an important step in the process toward proven efficacy -- MobiHealthNews rounded up 10 other wireless health clinical trials from around the world that also aimed to determine the efficacy of various wireless health systems. The GSM Association also announced an agreement with the University of Manchester to set-up an mHealth Innovation Center in Manchester, UK, which aims to facilitate clinical trials and become a hub for wireless health activity in the United Kingdom.

The "space between clinical and fitness" -- that was the way I described the wireless health sweet spot a few months ago: Now, the two poles of the wireless health spectrum have begun to creep more closely into the center, wireless health is making its way into the national health reform discussion as clinical trials continue around the world.

It may be November, but this week's news cycle clearly proves that the wireless health industry has no plans to hibernate this winter.