There's a healthy amount of enthusiasm both for the present and the future of mHealth in the air at this year's Summit. The range of speakers and attendees at has included entrepreneurs, clinicians, 15 year olds, and a Nobel Peace Prize winner, so it's pretty difficult to not be excited for the potential of mobile devices, human ingenuity, and collaboration in the healthcare and social good spaces.
As one of the new media producers for HIMSS, I've had my ear to the ground (both as @BHarris_HITN and @mHealth_News) for some of the most inspiring, insightful, or just plain entertaining thoughts buzzing through the air.
— Edward Egan (@EddyEgan) December 10, 2013
Nobel Peace Prize laureate Muhammed Yunus's remark during his keynote perhaps describes the overall mood of the discussion surrounding mHealth: even though it's expanding like crazy, there's incredible room for growth. In a recent Huffington Post article, mHealth Alliance Executive Director Patricia Mechael said that there are "nearly 7 billion mobile phone subscribers," which translates into an impressive potential audience for the innovations in the field of mHealth.
Chronic conditions the problem Martha Wofford- time 4 Prevention CDC says 80% of type 2 diabetes & heart disease r preventable #mHealth13
— Fred Goldstein (@fsgoldstein) December 10, 2013
When a prevalent and costly disease is 80% preventable, and when there is a slew of mobile applications to help address, treat, and prevent the causes of diabetes, one begins to wonder what potential the field will have when fully realized. Astrid Krag, the Danish Minister of Health, took the stage at this morning's keynote to highlight some of the simple measures her government is taking to better care for its citizens.
— John Keough (@JohnKeyo) December 10, 2013
Impressive Danish use of telemed! Psych Rx with iPad results in earlier, better, broader access, psychiatrists can see 4x more! #mhealth13
— Laura Jana (@kiddocjana) December 10, 2013
$3 billion saved? 4 times more patients served? This is an iPad in the hands of a patient, people! It's not rocket science. These are only a few examples of the nascent potential of mHealth, which portends a future where care begins and is centered around the patient, not at the doctor's office or the hospital. In fact, Krag said her nation is investing in hospitals that will be better but actually smaller than current ones- anticipating a populace that will primarily consume healthcare resources from a mobile platform.
Speaking of potential (and that 15 year old I mentioned), Jack Andraka participated in a session about engaging youth in healthcare. He braved rejection and apparently an otherwise very boring summer break to develop a screening test for pancreatic cancer that costs 3 cents to manufacture and is 166 times faster than the previous iteration. During his talk, he stressed that to really flourish, the mHealth movement needs to embrace the global youth.
— mHealth News (@mhealth_news) December 10, 2013
As we head in to our third and final day of the summit, I am excited to see what other revelations people have about the development of the mHealth universe. What are your thoughts? Share them with us on Twitter with the #mHealth13 hashtag, or connect with @mHealthSummit, @mHealth_News, or @BHarris_HITN.