HIMSS 2014 uncovers 5 new mHealth trends
Written by Alyssa Clark
1. mHealth gets closer than ever
Anchored by the world-renowned HIMSS tradeshow, the mHealth Summit and the Continua Health Alliance launched the Personal Connected Health Alliance is bent on moving attention back towards the healthcare consumer. This means that the customizable aspects of the mHealth world are slowly becoming the most important, with the diversity of patients always in the forefront of healthcare designer minds.
“Healthcare is clearly moving in the direction of greater consumer engagement and delivery outside of traditional care settings,” said H. Stephen Lieber, president and CEO of HIMSS WorldWide.
mHealth techs are working harder than ever to ensure that people are not only equipped with the resources to maintain better personal health, but that people are actually capable and inspired to embrace these resources.
2. Privacy and security are ever-growing concerns
One of the most popular seminars held at this year’s HIMSS was entitled “Securing Patient Data in a Mobilized World”. This session had nearly every seat in the room filled, and the crowd was estimated to be around 300 people— if that speaks to anything about how widespread this concern really is.
Led by Andrea Bradshaw and Sadik Al-Abdulla of CDW, the session focused on the problems of protecting personal health information when capitalizing on the success of mobile devices. Data breaches have been an all-too-common problem these days in various business aspects of the healthcare sector, so the urgency is there to enlist exactly why and how these breaches are possibly, and what is to be done to stop them. The access to these mobile devices is ever-present, and will continue to pose a threat until a solution is reached.
3. It’s about dollar signs
From opening keynote speaker, Mark Bertolini, CEO of Aetna medical, to the concerns of the everyday public servant, the goal of creating a healthier nation while limiting unnecessary healthcare spending is in the mind of us all.
This inclusive all means caring from the chronically ill, investing in wellness initiatives and corporate programs and producing positive incentives for healthcare professionals. An example of developing and implementing these initiatives can be seen from Aetna itself, as they have developed a new program to bring mHealth to an all-new playing field.
The mobile app developer iTriage is a large part of the Aetna network. iTriage’s CEO and co-founder, Wayne Guerra has laid out an action plan that focuses on giving consumers the tools they need to manage their health. "I think they want transparency," he said. "They want the answers to their questions."
4. Supporting the EMRs
Now that EMR has become a more-established platform, medical professionals and EMR advocates are beginning to drift away from the push towards getting doctors to embrace EMR/EHR and are moving more into the ways in which executives can learn how to use them effectively. By administering the correct tools for support and assistance to these new systems, healthcare businesses can embrace the change and become well-equipped machines operating in the EMR realm. While the EMR system is great at storing and logging patient data, there is still a challenge brewing behind how exactly we can use that data to assist patients and doctors simultaneously and easily.
These changes towards enabling usability of EMR have been seen in numerous ways: wearable devices, information on-the-go initiatives, mobile platforms, business analytics and encouraging the embracement of mHealth technology to accompany the accessibility of EMR.
5. The emergence of wearables
As one of the leaders in wearable technology, CES has lead the game for years and healthcare is finally catching fire with this hot new opportunity. From Google Glass, to FitBits, to censored-clothing, this technology has proven to be one to watch in the upcoming year in terms of investment potential and expansion. The exhibits at the HIMSS tradeshow displayed numerous examples of up-and-coming wearable technology, as well as the ways in which technology is connecting caregivers to patients EMR and other private healthcare information.