Getting Past the Mobile Health Hype
Lately I’ve been reading a lot about mobile health, and the mHealth market. Some of the discussion is focused on mHealth being overhyped. It seems that in the worlds of science and technology, there is a tendency to brand whatever is deemed the “next new thing” as being over hyped.
Lately I’ve been reading a lot about mobile health, and the mHealth market. Some of the discussion is focused on mHealth being overhyped. It seems that in the worlds of science and technology, there is a tendency to brand whatever is deemed the “next new thing” as being over hyped. While I understand this (after all, “experts” and news organizations need something to say), I can’t say that I agree with their assessment.
Consider a few facts:
- By 2011, the world’s 7 billion people had nearly 6 billion mobile phone subscriptions
- The global mHealth market is expected to grow at an annual rate of 54.9 percent over the next four years, with the fastest growth occurring in Europe
- Dr. Eric Topol, thought leading cardiologist and mobile health visionary, is AT&T’s Chief Medical Advisor, focused on digital and mobile health strategy. Somebody at At&T sees the writing on the wall.
We are in the early days of the mobile health revolution, and there are barriers to adoption, especially in the United States, which I believe is in the midst of an historic restructuring of its entire healthcare delivery and reimbursement system. Interestingly, according to PriceWaterhouseCoopers, the real trailblazers in mHealth are going to be emerging markets. They have the fewest barriers to adoption of these technologies due to a lack of entrenched systems already in place, and are the most open to change out of all global markets.
Mobile health and telemedicine are going to be among the biggest growth drivers in healthcare over the next 20 years, dramatically impacting everything from healthcare delivery to drug development, big data and precision medicine.
Are we in the early days of the mHealth revoution? Absolutely. The same can be said for precision medicine and telehealth. But the healthcare and life sciences industries are in the midst of what I believe are the most dramatic, structurally pervasive and comprehensive changes we’ve ever seen. These changes are being driven primarily by technology, which is enabling faster and better decision making thanks to the ability to rapidly acquire, interpret and act upon data more efficiently, more and better quality information than we’ve ever had before, and more patient centered care than we’ve ever had before.
Is mHealth overhyped? No way.