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M-health, Mobile Apps from the Payer Perspective

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media, January 29, 2013

HLM:  Do you feel your colleagues in the industry are tuned into this as you are, or does the industry as a whole have more work to do?

Tuckson: I think the industry as a whole has more work to do, but the key thing is, again, we're going to have to find a way that people come together. One of the things that's going to be very interesting in the future as we try to figure out where we go is, what happens when we start to go from the pure consumer space more into a medical space?

If the app that we're using to advance wellness now has to start moving into the space that may be associated with diagnostics, or disease monitoring—titrating of actual behavior—to start to look clinical, now we're starting to get to a whole 'nother area, which is going to be then subject to regulation, to regulatory oversight. All these are the issues that are there, and what we want to see is, How do all the participants in this space begin to see how these things connect?

HLM:  Scanadu delayed its launch so they can get FDA approval, so it can be used in a medical setting.

Tuckson: At some point, you get precise about what you're trying to do, and you want it to be demonstrable to have a real impact on human health. When you do that ... you make claims, and a consumer has to purchase something based on claims of reliability, that it will do what it says, [and] a physician's office has to say that in fact this thing that a patient is doing, if I'm going to incorporate it into my clinical paradigm, I need to understand its reliability, its trustworthiness and its appropriateness.

So you want there to be appropriate regulatory oversight. All these things have to be sorted out. What I would say is, let's not let those challenges slow down the train of innovation. We've got a lot of room to get to, and a dynamic dialogue. The alternative hypothesis is almost unimaginable, which is, we do nothing, we don't innovate, we don't develop new ideas, we continue to have this extraordinary increase.

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1 comments on "M-health, Mobile Apps from the Payer Perspective"


Mark Ragusa (1/30/2013 at 2:24 PM)
Very good information.... some thoughts. The rapid rate of mobile health adoption reflects the convenience and utility inherent in mobile apps and devices. Health systems have an opportunity to meet patients where they are increasingly turning for health management: mobile devices. This is patient engagement at its most powerful. Engaged patients will increasingly drive a health system's success. Today that means HCAHPS and readmissions. Tomorrow that means population health and ACOs. Smart health systems understand that and are investing in mobile. For others, the window will eventually close and their patients will turn elsewhere for health management. http://axialexchange.com/blog/category/axial-mobile