You say mHealth, I say m-health


Call me a stickler, but I hate seeing "mHealth." I'm not a fan of "mServices," either. For that matter, I could do without "eHealth" and "ePrescribing," too.

It's not the terms themselves that bother me as much as the capitalization that offends my sensitive sense of grammar. I see why people do it, to distinguish between the lower-case "e" and the rest of the word. But those ubiquitous electronic messages we all get too many of aren't known as "eMail." It's "email" (the preferred spelling at Fierce) or "e-mail."

You'll notice that I've taken it upon myself to write "m-health" and "e-prescribing" whenever such terminology appears in FierceMobileHealthcare, FierceHealthIT and FierceEMR, the three publications I'm personally responsible for. Yes, I do refer to such organizations as the mHealth Initiative, the mHealth Alliance and the eHealth Initiative by their official names. I've talked plenty about the Rockefeller Foundation's "Making the eHealth Connection" conferences I attended in Italy two summers ago.

That doesn't mean I like that construction. I just respect the names they've chosen. The same goes for eBay.

By the way, that company that makes mobile reference software for healthcare professionals is called Epocrates--not ePocrates. Esurance rolls the same way.

I may be fighting a losing battle, though. I've always been a purist for "Web site," which describes a site on the World Wide Web. But, alas, "website" seems to have overwhelming support, including from the Almighty FierceMarkets Style Book, which I'm sworn to uphold. Next week, I'll be speaking at the mHealth Initiative's networking conference in San Diego--and using the proper name when I report from there.

Down the road, you may even see me writing a FierceHealthIT "eBook." But if I ever do get a Kindle, iPad or similar device, I'll be looking to buy some e-books. - Neil

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