mHealth Summit 2015: Emphasis on the ecosystem

From the mHealthNews archive
By Eric Wicklund

The focus is on connections at this year's mHealth Summit. It's part of a subtle shift in how "mHealth" is being defined – and how it's being adopted by healthcare providers.

For starters, this year's summit is actually one of three, all combined under the umbrella of the new Connected Health Conference. The four-day event, coordinated by HIMSS, the Personal Connected Health Alliance and Continua, now includes separate summits focusing on cybersecurity and population health. It will take place Nov. 8-11 at the Gaylord National Resort and Conference Center outside Washington D.C.

[Learn more about the 2015 mHealth Summit.]

The idea, HIMSS officials say, is that mHealth is part of a larger ecosystem, one that highlights the connections being made by consumers, healthcare providers and others, using any number of tools at their disposal.

"Healthcare is entering an era of the consumer and with that comes new challenges and opportunities," HIMSS President and CEO H. Stephen Lieber told mHealth News. "More than ever before consumers are taking greater control of their health and healthcare. To support that trend, providers need to provide a different level of connectivity between the clinician and the consumer. Mobile health, population health and information security are critical components in achieving this new level of electronic connection."

In its seventh year, the mHealth Summit will explore what is new in mobile, telehealth and connected health – spanning clinical care and patient engagement to new technologies, research, investment activities, policy and shifts in the business environment. That includes the Global mHealth Forum, launched in 2014 in partnership with the mHealth Working Group and USAID, which brings together mHealth experts from more than 50 countries to discuss mobile and connected health issues facing, in particular, low- and middle-income countries. 

Debuting this year at the same time are the CyberSecurity Summit, designed to "convene thought leaders from around the country to explore the current landscape of health sector cyberthreats and risk management approaches across identification, protection, detection, response and recovery;" and the Population Health Summit, which will "provide real-world examples and case studies of population health management actions currently in place within healthcare organizations."

Originally launched by the National Institutes of Health, the mHealth Alliance and the Foundation for the NIH, the mHealth Summit was acquired by HIMSS in 2012 and kept under the supervision of Richard Scarfo, its director and vice president of the Personal Connected Health Alliance.