Hurdles await adoption and innovation of mHealth

Mobile healthcare poses tremendous opportunities in the next 10 years, but "significant barriers" will challenge consumer and care industry adoption--including the complexity of the U.S. medical system, an economic approach that does not pass on cost savings to patients, fuzzy federal regulations and poorly defined guidelines--according to a recent presentation.

Authored by Glenn Roland, a technology consultant with the Reston, Virginia-based Dominion Group, the presentation reveals a plethora of evidence regarding increased adoption and growth of mHealth technology but notes a long list of obstacles that must be overcome for such adoption to take place. In addition, Roland said the current legal system discourages new treatment implementations and places too much emphasis on the consumer segment instead of creating and developing solutions that will help patients with healthcare issues.

The insight supports a new Deloitte report that notes four critical dimensions (people, places, payment and purpose) necessary for mHealth to attain its full potential.

"The key to the four dimensions is to be sure all are considered, which is associated with greater success and return on investment," Henry Greenspun, senior adviser for Deloitte, told FierceMobileHealthcare. "Typically, when mHealth programs fail, it is often the result of one of the dimensions being overlooked."

In a recent interview with Federal News Radio, Greenspun noted the mHealth segment is undergoing a real turning point and says the focus, as cited in Roland's presentation, must be on solution-based strategies.

Consumers and health industry stakeholders continue to view mHealth tools as a way to improve care, treatment and diagnosis, as well as wellness and preventative health programs. "There is opportunity to expand the notion of primary care," Greenspun told Federal News Radio.

In his presentation, Roland noted that current innovations are too narrowly focused and missing fundamentals needed for broad adoption.

"Like any emerging technology, there's too much emphasis on the technology itself instead of the problem being solved," Roland said. "As such, there is a functional and 'brand persona' gap between the technologists building Mobile health solutions and the people who are responsible for improving health and treatment outcomes."

For more information:
- check out the slide presentation