mHealth Summit 2013: A preview

Next week's 5th Annual mHealth Summit in Washington, touted by organizers as the largest conference of its kind, will bring together more than 5,000 attendees from across government, industry and academia to discuss the current state of mobile healthcare globally and its promising future. 

Last year's summit had a record-breaking 4,050 participants from 56 countries. This year, the event will handily exceed those attendance numbers with speakers and attendees from 60 countries.

Given the international representation at the conference, the 2013 mHealth Summit will feature a six-session track devoted to the issue of global health, showcasing the applications of mobile technology in a global setting, with a particular emphasis on low- and middle-income countries. The Global Health track will include sessions on a broad range of topics including proven approaches and lessons learned in the field from countries in Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and Southeast Asia, and discussions on empowering women and managing aging and chronic diseases. Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize winner, is a scheduled keynote speaker, as well as Astrid Krag, Danish Minister for Health. 

With the theme of "healthcare at your fingertips," this year's summit includes more than 450 speakers. Undoubtedly, the most anticipated mHealth event of 2013 was the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's issuance of its final guidance on mobile medical applications, which was released in September after a two year wait. FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, a keynote speaker, will discuss the significance and background of the FDA's final guidance and will "talk about the role of medical apps and other developments in medical technology within the broader context of improving patient care and responding to public health challenges," according to the event website.

Conference tracks at this year's summit will include: Business Transformation, Health & Wellness, International, mHealth in the Hospital, Pharma & Life Sciences, Policy, Technology and Ventures & Startups. For the first time, the conference will feature the mHealth in the Hospital track which will explore the technologies for systemic quality improvements and restructured workflows for improving patient care, population health and managed cost outcomes. 

The 2013 mHealth Summit boasts an exhibit hall with 300 exhibitors, who will demo and display the latest advancements in mHealth technologies including "consumer-facing digital health and wellness platforms, provider tools for tracking, measuring and monitoring, new forms of gaming for improving and engaging in healthcare, wearables for seamless yet complex monitoring, systems for the secure transmission of sensitive medical data and more," according to the event website. This year's expanded exhibit floor includes an Innovation Zone Pavilion featuring startups focused on mobile health, aging and gaming.

To learn more:
- visit summit website