Ever since I noticed that PWC had copied the name of our blog with their mHealth initiative I’ve found it interesting to track how the world’s biggest professional service firms have been focusing on mHealth opportunities.
I find it revealing that none of these firms are going with strategies around “Digital Health” or ‘Wireless Health’ and that those that did have already dropped them (eg. PWC quietly discontinued their Wireless Health visions in 2010) despite the rather peculiar interests of a few major companies to push back against the term mHealth.
Perhaps it’s the awareness that every big consulting company would have of the size and scale of the opportunities that are inherent in Mobile as the newest mass media with it’s own Trillion $ Industry.
Here’s a snapshot of the take the big four are taking on mHealth:
Ernst and Young is the latest to take focus on mHealth and quite very revealing of their approach is that they’ve placed it as a subset of their Technology Industry focus and not under the Life Science umbrella (alongside MedTech, Pharma and BioTech).
Ernst & Young have listed the following 3 themes as the key drivers of mHealth:
“Making the health care everywhere vision work will require many technology megatrends working in concert. True mHealth will be realized through a combination of smart mobility, social networking, cloud computing and big data analytics all working together.
Life sciences companies will face certain challenges — along with opportunities — as the epicenter of the health care system shifts from the hospital and doctor’s office to wherever the patient happens to be.
The health care everywhere concept is fast approaching a tipping point. Not only are the technology and innovation available, but consumers, governments, institutions — and, indeed, society at large — are ready for mHealth”
Ashraf Shehata at KPMG’s Global Center of Excellence Healthcare talks of “how mobile devices will revolutionize healthcare” with a prediction that “In fifty years’ time, I believe that we will consider the rise of mobile technology to be one of the greatest medical advances the world has ever seen“.
Deloitte point to how “the smart phone has already become the keeper of an expanding array of health care apps that prod and poke the owner to become fitter, lose weight and be altogether healthier. This trend, however, is just the beginning of a new mobile paradigm now emerging in health care. Mobile technologies have become ubiquitous among health care consumers and professionals. Simultaneously, the healthcare industry is moving towards a delivery model that is patient-centered and value-based. A new report by the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions asserts that mobile technologies can facilitate the shift in the relationship between clinicians, payers, life sciences companies and patients that will be required to implement this new model… …mHealth brings more than new technologies. It facilitates a new way of interacting and providing health care. Accordingly, an integrated mobile strategy should be a key component of growth strategies for providers, health plans and biopharma and med-device companies. Innovation and platform leadership are widely seen as the two most important capabilities in mobile and any platform adopted needs to be applicable or interoperable across the entire health care industry“.
PWC analysis of mHealth “reveals mobile is positioned to have a huge impact on how healthcare is delivered. It offers opportunities to address one of the most pressing global challenges: making healthcare more accessible, faster, better and cheaper“.
The firm believes there are 3 major trends already happening in healthcare that “lend themselves to the revolution in mobile technology“:
Ageing populations and chronic illness are driving regulatory reform. Public sector healthcare is seeking better access and quality, and it’s looking to the private sector for innovation and efficiency. mHealth improves access and quality, and offers dramatic innovation and cost reduction.
Foundations already in place
The foundations of industrialisation of healthcare are already in place — electronic medical records, remote monitoring and communications. ‘Care anywhere’ is already emerging. The platform for mHealth is set.
Healthcare, like other industries, is getting personal. mHealth can offer personal toolkits for predictive, participatory and preventative care.