In this afternoon’s panel discussion at VUE15, Travis Good, MD, Co-founder of Catalyze, moderated a fascinating discussion on the history of mHealth. While the industry is still young, it’s important to take a look back and see what we can learn from the successful deployments of older enterprise healthcare technologies. Back in the 1980s, I was starting out as an Implementation Consultant at Shared Medical Systems (SMS), an early leader in automating hospital systems. Those were exciting days, just as today is a time of transformational change in healthcare.
That’s why I was interested to hear our panel of experts covering subjects from the proliferation of Spectralink phones to alarm-signaling software to the early mobile communication efforts of forward-thinking hospitals.
John Elms, President of Connexall USA, brought great historical perspective as former CEO at Spectralink, the pioneer of wireless telephony in healthcare and long-time market leader until its sale to Polycom in 2007.
“In our early days at Spectralink, we were the best 900MHz company out there,” John Elms said. “But we saw where the market was going, and knew we had to figure out how to make Wi-Fi work. It’s important to not be so wedded to your product that you surround yourself with like-minded people who can’t transform along with those changes.”
Another of the main themes the panel discussed was the importance of collaborating with other vendors and integrating with different systems.
John Gresham, VP and General Manager of DeviceWorks at Cerner Corporation, said, “Cerner views interoperability as paramount. Hundreds of our solutions leverage partner technologies, which is paramount to our ability to offer a broader portfolio to our clients. Our partners are part of our ecosystem. We partnered with Voalte because we saw the power of what they are doing in the industry.”
Denis Baker, Former CIO of Sarasota Memorial Health Care System, offered perspective as the first hospital CIO in the country to implement smartphones for caregiver communication. Denis pointed to the importance of hospital administration supporting innovation.
Denis said, “Throughout my 20 years at Sarasota Memorial, we went through four CEOs and many board transitions, but the hospital always supported IT and allowed us to try new things.”
“New things” have been a big part of VUE15, an exciting place to be at an exciting time in mHealth history.
Sean Friel is Sr. VP of Sales and Marketing at Voalte.