Mobile health a 'paradigm change,' says Withings CEO Cedric Hutchings

The big keys to a fully integrated health management system are economic incentives and not the ones many may automatically assume, such as incentives for users. Doctors and providers should get incentives for following patients on a remote basis, says Withings CEO and Co-Founder Cedric Hutchings.

In addition, greater evidence is needed on how patient engagement can lead to better health outcomes, he shares in an interview with blog Rude Baguette.

"This is beginning to take shape," says Hutchings, noting how the federal healthcare system is striving to organize healthcare on the principle of "fee for outcome" instead of "fee per doctor visit."

As FierceMobileHealthcare recently reported, new Commonwealth Fund research reveals that while digital tech is in the early stages when it comes to "safety net" deployments, such tools pose tremendous promise and potential in engaging patients in healthcare management.

In regard to the needed engagement evidence, Hutchings notes that Withings Health Institute is teaming up with several medical facilities to drive such research forward.

"This is a challenge, because research, from data collection to publication, to widespread adoption by doctors, takes a lot more time than consumers need to adopt a new technology," Hutchings says.

The Withings chief's insight come as mHealth innovation and adoption are on the rise, with providers developing apps, consumers increasingly embracing devices and big innovation occurring in the mHealth wearables market.

Cigna just released its Coach by Cigna 2.0, a free mHealth app tapping the psychology of assessment to provide users specific programs for managing health and lifestyle decisions. A majority of iTriage users would adopt a health monitoring device if it was recommended by a physician, states survey by the Aetna company, and a new Tractica report projects more than 75 million wearable devices will be deployed in enterprise and industrial environments by 2020, and cites corporate wellness programs as the top driver for adoption.

Hutchings also notes how consumers are tapping mHealth tools to attain ownership of data.

"This is truly a paradigm change because your health is no longer something you begin to think about the day you are sick talking to your doctor. Now, the patient is at the center of the information, and he wants to play an active role before it is too late."

For more information:
- read the interview

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