No one will argue that smart phones and mobile gadgets have completely altered our lives. As noted in this CNN piece by Doug Gross back in 2010, “It’s a mobile society. Call it good. Call it bad. It just is.”
As with most things in healthcare, the adoption of mobile devices has lagged behind in comparison to other industries. But as many recent reports have noted, healthcare is clearly making up for lost time. RockHealth “Visual Wednesday” infographic from this week captures the convergence of mobile and healthcare very well. The question has been festering in my mind and was again echoed in Brian Eastwood’s recent CIO article on health IT’s struggles to keep up with mHealth’s demands: how much longer are we going to use the term mHealth and when will mobility just be a part of healthcare?”
Which begs the next question: How long has this love affair been going on? The real meat on mHealth’s trajectory should be pulled from this lovely mobihealthnews piece, “Timeline: Smartphone-enabled health devices,” but here’s a little graphic of the big milestones in “m’s” relationship with “health” over the past few years:
The Spring 2013 flurry of mHealth regulatory activity was a lot like the two went ring shopping together: clearly, both parties are committed to the idea of forever and are in it to win it. But this is starting to look like it will be a long engagement. Question is now when exactly are they going to lock it down? When will all hospitals have a mobile/BYOD strategy completely integrated into everything they do? When will patients be able to access their EMR in a native mobile phone app and receive push notifications on my lab results? The questions to these answers are far from anyone’s reach at this point but the final mHealth regulations will probably be a tipping factor that will help these two set a final wedding date. After that, we all look forward to a long, harmonious marriage of mobile and health – and by that I mean a lifelong, committed relationship filled with fights and arguments as they figure out the kinks of being together forever.