This “Why mobile technology may well define the future of healthcare… for everyone” video from PWC is a positive development (as it makes it clear that “the differentiation between a healthcare strategy and a mobile healthcare strategy will be dissolved” – of course in the USA at Kaiser Permanente it already has) but as I’ve detailed before at length some of the significant oversights that I feel are in the Economist Intelligence Research that this video is building upon (eg. here and here) and could introduce even more confusion to the mHealth market:
Definition of mHealth
“The provision of healthcare through mobile devices or mHealth” is a positive step on from the GSMA and WHO’s position (they still maintain that mHealth is just a subset of eHealth) but I think this is a very inaccurate definition (click here for the definition I use where mobile is the newest mass media) and users of it will face confusion as they realise that increasingly the device won’t be “mobile” (eg. a M2M connected smoke/co alarm, care monitor, medical device, etc) and the opportunity already extends far beyond the device as a result of opportunities we have to leverage the mobile network and connected services.
Hyping innovations that can help us better manage major global healthcare challenges should be welcome but not everything is new so let’s me realistic about where we are today
I found a significant conflict in the video eg. at one point the narrator might make some viewers consider is-it-or-isn’t-it? by claiming that “mHealth is becoming a global reality” and then following this up a few seconds later stating that “mHealth is already having an impact throughout the world“.
There is no doubt in my mind: successful mHealth applications are already here.
The video also perpetuates the completely unfounded claim that “emerging markets are moving faster than developed markets“. In my opinion this claim is made on very poor analytic grounding perhaps because PWC and then EIU hasn’t challenged claims that the counterfeit drug market has been solved by SMS authentication technology (they haven’t yet and the juries out as to whether or not this can be achieved).
Some more concrete data points I feel PWC would benefit from discussing could be drawn from the way modern governments are using mobile communications to help manage emergency situations eg. the Personal Localized Alerting Network that has been put to use in response to the SuperStorm Sandy, the Tsunami in Japan – even though it’s the world’s most senior market it managed to effectively reallocate voice services for emergency personnel because more than 80% of citizens use mobile data services, Emergency SMS in Ireland and the UK, etc).
What do you think?
Does this PWC mHealth drum banging video help?