mHealth Rant

OK, I’ve heard the “mHealth” term one too many times and I feel compelled to shout “enough already”. While I think that the ability to put information into the hands of healthcare providers and patients wherever they might be has the potential to transform healthcare, I do NOT believe that applying mobile technologies to the delivery of healthcare services warrants a new word to describe it nor that we should treat it as something fundamentally different from other eHealth technologies. When you strip away the hype, a smartphone is just a computer with a small screen and very long network cable. You still need the same servers and databases as you do for a desktop computer, or a laptop with a wi-fi card, or a netbook with a 3G stick.

Let be crystal clear … I think that making information accessible to people on the move will be transformative. I just don’t think that it is a distinct technology or that we need yet another buzzword. mHealth is NOT distinct from eHealth or Health IT (HIT) and we should banish it from our vocabulary.

Mike

2 responses to “mHealth Rant

  1. I couldn’t agree more. Reminds me of the term mCommerce that I heard during the dotcom boom….ugh.

    Mobile to me is just another form factor for Healthcare IT. It may in fact enable you to do unique or net new things (ie location based info) but it is far too broad in application to be a standalone category.

    Mark

  2. Well said Michael! There are too many buzz words out there, and it is confusing everyone. Whenever we do a demo of our web-based products, one of the first questions is always whether or not we have an iPad app. My answer is always the same – we sure do, it’s called Safari.

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