The MobiHealthNews team has spent all of Wednesday in transit making our way back from a very busy three days in San Antonio at the American Telemedicine Association (ATA) 2010 event. The organizers of ATA were kind enough to invite me to participate on a number of sessions, including one on reimbursement advocacy another on telemedicine market trends and finally a closing plenary session with a number of key telecom executives. While the full video should be available soon (which will include the real meat of the discussion), here's a few brief notes and quotes from the final plenary session of ATA:
"Mobile as a trend in healthcare is one that is definitely coming," Jerry Wang, Director of Engineering and QA at A&D Medical, "[because] mobile brings the value to the end user."
Wang explained that as these personal health devices track information about us, they can then email or text message us and remind us to change our behavior.
"That kind of total solution can really change our behavior," Wang said, "and help us to lead a better life."
Verizon's VP of Technology & Innovation and Chief Medical Officer Peter Tippett joked that he's still waiting for a smartphone app that can smell a hamburger and set off an alarm before we get a chance to eat it: The hamburger detector app. (A recent article over at Medgadget suggests that maybe that basic concept might not be too far off.)
Of course, in all serious the proliferation of connected personal health devices and the oft referred to "data tsunami" that would follow, would put considerable strain on the healthcare system. That's why Cisco's senior director, global healthcare solutions Nick Augustinos believes backend data analytics is key for this industry to take off:
"We are looking at an over abundance of data," Augustinos said. "In the absence of analytics we will be crushed by the sheer volume of data [generated from these devices]. Our thinking at Cisco is delivering service at a distance is not just about access but how we make this data meangingful, too. The creation of the analytic services will be the tipping point for this industry. Analytics are the key -- the endpoints, these end user devices are just a part of that continuum of services."
Much more to come from ATA 2010 in the coming days, but I'm also excited to head out to Stanford, CA as I'm presenting at what is shaping up to be a must-attend event: Mobile Health 2010. See you there!