I’m continually finding articles that suggest that mHealth is ONLY going to be a subset of eHealth, mostly written by American authors who haven’t yet appreciated that mobile is the newest and least understood of all mass media. Just because a lot of the Health2.0/eHealth snakeoil peddlers are moving into mHealth there is no question of “which is better eHealth or mHealth?”, because the answer is as non sensical as arguing that a Rolls Royce is better than a Yacht – they’re different.
Tomi Ahonen (the most prolific mobile telecoms author with 9 highly recommended books on mobile business and services) has a nice article today following his review of Google’s “Mobile First” talk at Mobile World Congress in which Eric Schmidt describes mobile as the “Mass Consumer End-Point”. Tomi’s article includes a few lines that I think put into a global context why mHealth is a better model for health care delivery than eHealth:
“We’ve all heard the mantra:”The internet changed everything.” But did it? The guy working in construction as a laborer, laying bricks or nailing roof tiles, he does not need the internet to do his daily job. Yes, maybe the foreman or the archtect needs a computer, but the workers? Not really. How about the lumberjack up in Canada or in Brazil, using a chain saw to cut down giant trees? Does not need the internet to cut trees. What of the farm worker who comes in to help collect the crops. I don’t mean the farmer, who needs to know about weather, I mean the guy in the field, operating the tractor or perhaps picking tomatos or oranges by hand. His life did not change because of the internet. Or the fisherman. He does not have an internet connection in his little wooden fishing boat that he inherited from his father… …MOBILE WILL CHANGE WORLD FAR MORE THAN INTERNET COULD”