1st mHealth Networking Conference Explores Rapid Developments

Feb. 10, 2010

Close to 300 registrants, including representatives from health plans, provider organizations, investment companies, and industry, as well as clinicians, government officials, IT specialists, and others, met at the 1st International mHealth Networking Conference in Washington DC, February 3-4, 2010. While most registrants came from the US, the meeting also drew attendees from Asia and Europe.

The plenary presentations were especially well received. mHealth Initiative leaders C. Peter Waegemann and Claudia Tessier opened the conference by exploring the comprehensive vision of mHealth. Dr. Mohit Kaushal of the FCC addressed its plans for mHealth; and neurologist Andy Barbash described the simple networking solutions he uses to improve the quality of care and enhance his role as a caregiver, emphasizing the ease with which they can be adopted by other healthcare providers. Day 2’s general session featured Adam Bosworth of Keas (formerly of Google Health), who described the Keas approach to personal health information, including its mobility plans, and stimulated discussion about the evolving meaning and value of personal health records. 

In breakout sessions, speakers noted that low-cost solutions exist today to create medical networks, implement new communication patterns with patients, colleagues, and others such as pharmacies, labs, and payers. Many focused on the use of apps on smartphones and the changing healthcare decision making processes for patients and healthcare professionals. The need for a restructuring of the healthcare system was also emphasized, including a payment system that reimburses a caregiver for researching and for communications outside of the traditional encounter. 

Fitness and healthy living programs were also a focus. Participatory health, as a necessary element of mHealth, will change our healthcare system dramatically.  Although these systems promise cost savings and improved quality of life, they remain to be integrated into wellness and healthcare processes.

The field is so vast and the developments so far reaching that it is difficult to conduct a comprehensive analysis. Yet, the benefits of mHealth are clear to those practices, clinics, hospitals, and health plans that are experimenting with a variety of implementations.

In response to the growing interest in and the rapid evolution of mHealth, mHealth Initiative has scheduled its 2nd mHealth Networking Conference for September 8-9, 2010 in San Diego CA, where attendance is expected to double.

www.mobih.org

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