The top compelling mHealth driver is the ability to save money through early intervention patient care outside of a hospital setting, Mony Weschler, chief applications strategist at New York's Montefiore Medical Center, tells mHealthNews, noting the first mHealth tool destined to become ubiquitous will be biometrics monitoring.
"The fitness industry has taken the lead and turned this into a $2 billion industry overnight while providing some basic motivational tools," he said.
"These devices that are now in our phones, Apple Health Kit and Google Fit, will make it simple for everyone to interact with their health data, providers and payers. This is key as our health system transitions from an acute reactive fee for services system to a proactive, wellness-centric, fee-for-performance, affordable care system," Weschler said in the article.
Such a transition shift of mHealth tech from the fitness realm to the medical and home patient monitoring environments is predicted to take big root next year, according to TechKnowledge Strategies analyst Mike Feibus, in a column at InformationWeek. Feibus predicts an increase in attention to industry challenges such as security, data collection and patient privacy will help pave the way for greater mHealth innovation within the next 12 months.
Weschler's expectations are aligned with another experienced health IT expert, Mary Annecharico, chief information officer at Henry Ford Health Systems, who told CIO Review that "similar to the internet revolution, mHealth is revolutionizing the way of patients receiving their care. The differentiation between a conventional healthcare strategy and mobile healthcare strategy will be softened."
When it comes to cutting-edge tools, Weschler cites virtual, physician-guided remote exams in telehealth settings. He doesn't believe simple text-based tools and one-off personal apps that burden patients with all data responsibilities will have substantive traction.
His biggest mHealth tech fear is what he terms a lack of vision--which he believes is thwarting initiatives.
"Even the successes have difficulty in finding owners when transitioning to operations because the way they were managed was outside the established process," he tells mHealthNews.
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