Tech analyst: mHealth transformation will arrive in 2015

Come 2015, mHealth will transition from its primary focus on fitness to healthcare with users monitoring vital signs and taking a proactive approach to good health, Mike Feibus, a TechKnowledge Strategies analyst, writes in a column at InformationWeek.

"By this time next year, we'll really begin to notice wearables and other bio-sensing devices migrating from sporting goods stores to drugstore shelves," Feibus said.

But the transition is a prediction and not set in stone, he notes, due to what he calls a "minefield" on the regulatory front.

The mHealth transformation starting to take place is thanks to fitness trackers and health bands that are quickly giving way to more complex devices such as the recently launched Microsoft Band and the Apple Watch, which some industry experts believe will be the game changer in mHealth devices, Fiebus writes.

Some examples of devices becoming more complex include a sensor-equipped mouth guard that measures the force of head injuries and issues alerts regarding potential concussions, and pharmaceutical innovations such as patches for patient drug intake, he said.

However, a barrier facing those emerging technologies is the worry about attaining needed funding and research support, Fiebus said, especially given potential federal regulations of new medical devices, privacy requirements around collected data and the use and storage of confidential health data. 

Those issues are already front and center with lawmakers calling on federal agencies to have greater oversight over mHealth apps, privacy advocates calling for more controls and consumer ownership of healthcare information and vendors, such as Apple, busy talking with federal agencies regarding impending technologies.

Feibus suspects an increase in attention to industry challenges will help pave the way for greater mHealth innovation within the next 12 months.

For more information:
- read the column at InformationWeek

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