mHealth is to ever more sensory Mobile Phones as Public Safety is to Driverless cars

Is the solution to social acceptance of self driving that they double up as the eyes of a trusted Police force

While giving workshops to Clinicians (like the mHealth course I developed with the Healthcare Informatics Society) I’ve noticed a big challenge is their preconceived ideas about how prepared and accepting Patients are about self monitoring.

Many have preconceived ideas that while this might seem like a good idea to kids sitting around on beanbags in Silicon Valley it’s completely out of touch with the reality that they are seeing as a Clinician who has spent their entire working life trying to get Patients to better manage conditions like diabetes with clumsy unconnected data generating sensors within a sickcare systems that are invariably all geared to just intensifying the treatment.

GBS told us “Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything” so I thought I’d share a little trick I use to try and change minds as I imagine there are others out there faced with similar challenges as they too try to fire others up about mHealth.

First up introduce the group to mobile as the newest mass media by having them watch a high energy video of mobile industry guru Tomi Ahonen doing his magic (obviously hire him to give it in person if you can possibly afford it). Afterwards do a 30 minute discussion and have a long coffee break so that they come back getting how all digital is converging to Mobile. I think this lively Cape Town evening one is great but he’s given hundreds of talks like these all over the world that you can easily find on YouTube:

After this try and get the group to think about something abstract involving technology where they don’t have deep subject matter expertise and haven’t already formulated opinions (eg. drones, driverless cars, AI, etc). Be sure to introduce the product with a well detailed promotional video about the product. The purpose of this is to help them look at things differently, be more open to challenging views, shift their focus from problems to solutions, etc.

Get the group to then openly think about and list the pros and cons (eg. for driverless Google Cars all the usual stuff like improving road safety, productivity, listing examples like taking kids to after school clubs and adults to social events, increasing the utilisation of resources, etc and big brother knowing where you go, sameness/feeling of being a bee in a colony, remote delivery mechanism for anonymous killer drones, etc) and list these on a flipchart before posting to the walls.

Now start getting the group to come up with suggestions for ways that the barriers can be overcome. Eventually you let them get to or coax them to a point where they suggest solutions (eg. that the driverless cars become public transport, pay as you go so no one owns them, they become the remote eyes of law enforcement so that they don’t give rise to 21st century Dick Turpin’s/even people who don’t use them benefit from the CCTV public safety and crime prevention, etc, etc).

Now post all those workings on a wall and turn the topic to what the group thinks needs to be done to change their perceptions of seamlessly connected medical devices and of mobile phones when they are so smart that they are seamlessly and intimately monitoring our health us as we go about using just them normally.

Fire the audience up by asking them to think about how documented care changes everything, the future of Health Insurance and clinical trials.

As the course leader watch this video about Medical detection dogs so you can get your head around Disco Dog Coats as that makes a good starting point and be sure to have mHealth tech in your pockets to demo to the group the technology that is already being used by Doctors who are adopting mHealth to delight their Patients (the Alivecor ECG is great for this as are the rich high quality educational apps from the likes of 3D4Medical but for more ideas check out the Smartphone Medical plenty to find here and discover plenty more ideas here).


Let me know how you get on and please share with me any ideas, tips or tricks that I might try or that you’ve found useful.

One last thing: Don’t forget most Clinicians learnt to do their job when…


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