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One feels almost assaulted by financial projections of the mHealth market every day - extrapolations from the increasing use of smartphones, the use of iPads by physicians, the adoption of patient portals by insurers, research of the Internet for medical purposes are commonplace. I can almost predict verbatim the final paragraphs of some of them.
Occasionally there will be a welcomed "Let's bring it back to Earth" post. Mobile health is part of the overall movement of the digitalization of healthcare. While adoption of these technologies will take a while to occur for a variety of reasons (many of which have been the subject of posts by this author), it would not be fair to let the hype become the face of the industry and an easy target of critics. These technologies WILL become a major part of healthcare for the following reasons:
The hype generated almost daily about mHealth is pumped up by investors, consultants and Wall Street analysts. The exact or estimated monetary figures are not important. What IS important is the central role that these technologies might play. Their rise to prominence will not be a result of hype but of the true benefits derived from them.
We must let healthcare supply and demand weed out the useless technologies and support the proven ones. For what matters most is the patient. EHRs have not proven their financial or outcomes return of investment yet. The IT paradox effect may very well be in play, and perhaps will extend to mHealth. We will have to see. What is clear is that mHealth tech is needed and not going away, despite backlash from the hype.
David Lee Scher is a former cardiac electrophysiologist and is an independent consultant and owner/director at DLS Healthcare Consulting, LLC, (www.digitalhealthconsultants.com) concentrating in advising digital health companies and their partnering institutions, providers and businesses. A pioneer adopter of remote cardiac monitoring, he lectures worldwide promoting the benefits of digital health technologies. Twitter: @dlschermd, He also blogs at http://davidleescher.com. He was cited as one of the 10 cardiologists to follow on Twitter and one of the top ten blogs on healthcare technology.
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