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By 0to5 • November 18, 2015

Hot Topics at mHealth 2015

The CloudMine team is back in the swing of things after a great week exhibiting at the mHealth Summit in Washington, D.C. We had many exciting conversations about the future of mobile health and healthcare delivery. It was inspiring to see the collision of worlds at the summit, with attendees from healthcare systems, governmental institutions, startup tech companies, physicians and students, all seeking ways to improve patient care and improve healthcare delivery through data and mobility.

If you missed the conference, or were not able to make all the events, we have captured our impressions here.

 

1.EHRs are difficult to integrate, but help is on the way! There is enormous value in the data stored within an EHR, yet organizations are increasingly challenged to turn that data into action. Moreover, the flurry of startup activity and venture capital funding flowing to mHealth innovation is also recognizing the struggle to tap into EHR data, and operationalize it in new and engaging ways. Leading the way are startups like PokitDok and Redox, who use open standards such as HL7 and FHIR to create simple and secure RESTful interfaces atop incumbent EHR providers. They provide a streamlined way to access entire data models, that can then be consumed by mHealth apps, patient portals, and other medical systems included in the continuum of care. Add to this the ability to capture new types of data from the connected world of remote sensor devices, wearables, and smart medical devices – and these healthcare API platforms become a critical link in enriching patient data, as well. Many event participants expressed interest in using these tools as a foundation for rapid app development, exposing critical information to providers and patients alike.


2.The mHealth discussion is moving from applications to platforms. Apps, or rather, "the need for an app," was the catalyst that drove initial investment in the category of mobility and mHealth within many healthcare organizations. As this need was fulfilled, it gave light to a seemingly endless list of possibilities for further innovation using mobility. As the ability to develop narrow, purposeful applications becomes easier, leading healthcare organizations are turning to a platform-based, scalable approach to mobility. Further, there is a shift in ownership of these initiatives, as organizations look to choose platforms that enable less technical resources, to the point of physicians and nurses, in bringing real-life ideas & needs to life in the mobile ecosystem. Enter in the explosion of healthcare data sources and microservices (ex. secure SMS, geofencing, etc), and the need for a platform to culminate, secure, and manage HIPAA-compliant mobility becomes a critical need.


 

3.Mobile healthcare is leapfrogging traditional healthcare in many parts of the world. Similar to the phenomenon that overtook telecom in the 90's and 00's – where landlines were completely skipped in favor of mobile phones – this too is occurring in healthcare service delivery in the developing world. Telemedicine is increasing in prevalence as a way to reduce physical visits to the doctor for minor injuries and illnesses, with many apps now available that enable remote healthcare delivery. Interestingly, this reduces healthcare costs, increases the number of patients receiving care, and increases convenience to both patients and providers alike. In many parts of the world, most notably Africa, this has made healthcare accessible to large populations who have very limited, if any, access to healthcare in the past. As mobile and connected devices continue to increase in terms of sophistication and total adoption in these countries, the emerging world will continue to see enormous benefit to the public health, and quality of life for their many citizens.


 

It's a very exciting time in healthcare, and the tech landscape is quickly evolving. The focus on purposeful development in the mobile space are expanding the need for interoperability, and many startups are beginning to address these concerns. The expansion of mHealth apps to improve patient care is international, and have a real impact on people's lives. We can't wait to see how the continued development of mobile health, and see the progress at the mHealth Summit 2016!


Did we miss anything? Tweet us about what you learned @CloudMine!