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mHealth Trials Are Happening, Without the Clinic

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media, December 4, 2012

HIMSS' mHealth Summit began yesterday in Washington, D.C., and runs through tomorrow. Because it's in the capital, government policymakers are likely to be dazzled by slick vendor presentations and lofty statements about what mobile health technology can do now and will be doing soon.

Meanwhile, outside the Beltway, healthcare providers ponder all the promise and peril of putting sensitive patient information on an ever-proliferating array of gadgets, the vast majority of which merely have garden-variety security, authorization, and authentication controls. After the petabytes of data breached by lost or stolen laptops is subtracted, the good news is that so far, mHealth doesn't seem to account for very many scary stories of health data exposure. But that could change.

Looking over the mHealth Summit agenda, I was struck by the fact that the elephant in the room—government regulation—has no session devoted to it.

There is a clue, however. Another session is titled, "Pushing the Limits of Mobile Health—Can We Have Health and Healthcare Without Doctors?"

Two answers. First, of course we had health, ill health, and healthcare before there were doctors. I'm pretty sure no one wants to go back to that.

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1 comments on "mHealth Trials Are Happening, Without the Clinic"


Wayne Caswell (12/5/2012 at 8:48 AM)
Will the consumer medical device and app be more accurate or helpful than the average general practitioner, or the mediocre one, or the top-notch one? Will low prices extend availability to more people and justify trade offs? Who gets to decide: consumers, medical practitioners, health institutions, insurers, employers, or regulators, and what will influence their decision? What might be the role of advertising? This is a relatively new and fast growing area with lots of unanswered questions. So, what may trigger government regulators to seek answers?