Wireless-Life Sciences Alliance meeting highlights fast-evolving field

With all the growth in and buzz surrounding mobile healthcare, m-health still is very much an immature industry.

In a September 2009 survey of mobile healthcare companies by Edina, Minn.-based investment bank Triple Tree, 94 percent of the 32 respondents said they were privately held, and two-thirds had less than $1 million in annual sales. Nearly all are on the cutting edge; Triple Tree said that the next 18 months will see more advancement in the field of m-health than in the previous four years.

"We assessed the situation and realized this market was on the verge of really booming," Rob McCray, a senior advisor to Triple Tree, says in an interview with Xconomy ahead of this week's Wireless-Life Sciences Alliance Convergence Summit in La Jolla, Calif. "I think we're finally at the point where we were in 1994 with Internet commerce and where we were in 2001 with wireless data."

McCray says he's now CEO of the alliance, which became a full-time, member-supported organization in January, though this is the fifth annual Convergence Summit. It's not the only new organization on the m-health scene, of course. The year-old West Wireless Health Institute is right there in La Jolla, while the Boston-based mHealth Initiative also formed a year ago when the Medical Records Institute dissolved after a quarter century.

"So perhaps mobile health is becoming more mainstream," Xconomy's San Diego editor, Bruce V. Bigelow surmises. "Still, the question remains, who will drive adoption?"

We wonder the same thing ourselves.

For more:
- check out this Xconomy story
- read MobileHealthWatch's take
- request a copy of the TripleTree report