It’s an exciting time in the mobile health space.
That excitement was evident a couple weeks ago at HealthBeat 2013, a new event that identifies technologies transforming the healthcare industry. While nobody would argue that healthcare IT still needs a lot of improvement, I’m encouraged by the new startups, innovative technologies and fresh business models shaking up the old ways of working.
I moderated a lively discussion with Julie Vilardi, RN, MS, of Kaiser Permanente and Darren Dworkin of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center about how we can create mobile devices with consumer-like experiences for hospital caregivers. I also sat in on breakout sessions and impromptu discussions with progressive thinkers who are borrowing from the consumer space to update healthcare technologies.
One fast-growing startup has been called “LinkedIn for Doctors.” Doximity announced at HealthBeat a new collaboration with the Cleveland Clinic to take continuing medical education (CME) into the online space and out of the traditional conference hall. Like online learners around the world, doctors can keep their credentials up-to-date from the comfort and convenience of their home or office.
Another interesting concept is Practice Fusion, an ad-supported EMR model that offers physicians free, web-based electronic records. Doctors get help with calendaring, scheduling and billing with a business model that’s unique to the healthcare industry but familiar to consumers who organize schedules, pay bills and manage files online.
Of course, the buzz around wearable technologies like Google Glass and Apple iWatch continues to grow, with huge potential for healthcare applications. A new study published this month predicts the global mHealth market is expected to reach $10.2 Billion by 2018. Remote patient monitoring, post-acute care services and strengthening of healthcare systems with smartphone technologies were cited as having the biggest impact.
Most remarkable is that all this growth has occurred in an incredibly short time. Our Chief Technology Officer Ben King attended the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco last week. I met Ben at WWDC in 2008, the same year Apple released its software development kit (SDK) for the iPhone and launched the App Store. It’s hard to believe it was only five years ago that Ben and I met at WWDC and discussed the initial concept for Voalte.
In that time, we’ve seen amazing growth here at Voalte as hospitals embrace smartphone technologies that have changed the way most of us live and work. In a young marketplace, not every idea will stick, but I’m excited to see an influx of new players and fresh ideas fueling the mobile health revolution.