Any article that starts with the line “2010 is shaping up to be a busy year for mHealth” is obviously going to be a firm favorite with me, but I’m left somewhat disappointed by the way in which the VitalWave Consulting blog piece has reached this conclusion. Is it really all about “private-sector firms… …realizing the potential for profits in the delivery of mobile health services”?
Where’s the mention of how it’s improving healthcare outcomes, the patient experience or enhancing the value we’re getting for our limited healthcare resources?
Here’s a few examples that the article gives:
> The “West Wireless Health Institute and the Carlos Slim Foundation announced a new partnership aimed at advancing wireless health technologies in the U.S., Mexico and other Latin American countries”
> Gary and Mary West Foundation “pledged another $25 million to help accelerate the recruitment of new talent and the funding of research on wireless health solutions”
> “the organizers of this year’s mHealth Summit revealed that major health and telecom players such as Verizon Wireless, Pfizer and Microsoft Research would be participating in the event as sponsors”
> “Operators such as Vodafone have created business units specifically to realize new opportunities in mHealth”
> “Health-related firms are also stepping up their involvement in the space, as evidenced by McKesson’s recent hire of Vital Wave Consulting’s own Karen Coppock”
While I’d be glad to be proven wrong I think that instead of highlighting capital expenditure and investment in the mHealth sector organisations that are trying to promote mHealth in emerging markets (like VitalWave) would do better if they helped to highlight where services and technologies are enabling resources to be spared and enabling providers and patients to create better outcomes and experiences.
Instead of celebrating press releases we should be sharing the solutions that are working to extend the reach of todays healthcare system to serve unmet patient needs and providing care to those who find themselves on the wrong side of the digital divide.