Getting Congress to understand IoT's promise vital for healthcare innovation

Last week, Executive Director of ACT/The App Association Morgan Reed testified at a hearing before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet on the future of the Internet of Things--and spoke to committee leaders about the promise the technology holds for healthcare. 

Congress has been a bit slow in getting up to speed on IoT, data security and privacy worries, and even slower on working to keep mHealth technology and Internet innovation advancing while solving hurdles stalling such innovation.

But hopefully, as evidenced by the hearing and the panelists' discussion with invited speakers, that scenario is about to change.

I had the chance to ask Reed about his testimony and what he hopes may come next.

ACT's primary goal, Reed said, was to help Congress understand the promise IoT offers. He wants to make sure congressional leaders don't think it's all about having a "refrigerator on the Internet"--which Reed noted "misses just how powerful all of these connective devices can be for helping us live our lives with more control and less waste."

That is a primary concern, as those in the industry tend to think everyone's as interested and invested in tech and IoT as they are. There's also the danger of misconceptions regarding IoT.

The second goal, Reed explained, is getting Congress to wipe out outdated laws that threaten all the promise inherent in IoT. "If we are mired in a legal framework that treats cloud data as though it has no value, then we are doomed to fail," he said.

Reed is hopeful the hearing will lead to Congress addressing the concerns related to government access to cloud data, specifically moving to update the 1986 Electronic Communications Protection Act--with the inclusion of the Law Enforcement Access to Data Stored Abroad (LEADS) Act. Such action, he said, would illustrate "how our society has embraced the internet and mobile connectivity."

He also hopes the judiciary committee will turns its attention to mHealth issues, such as telemedicine reimbursement and updating Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services codes.

"Finding the right solutions to these problems will be critical for the long-term future of mobile health, and the patients that are healthier because of it," Reed said.

Hopefully, that message was heard loud and clear on the Hill, and will spark additional conversations among congressional leaders. - Judy (@JudyMottl and @FierceHealthIT)