I’ve spent the past couple days enjoying the flow of mHealth information from some of the leaders in mobile health at the mHealth Summit. It’s been a great experience and I can tell you that HIMSS acquisition of mHealth Summit has been a very good thing for the conference.
As I think back on the conference, a few tweet highlighted the largest issue facing mHealth today.
— Stephanie Cannon (@cannons) December 5, 2012
I’ve heard this over and over this week. Helping doctors and patients trust mobile health is an enormous challenge. The mobile health apps and device area is exploding with companies and products. However, there is very little evidence of the benefits of the various mobile health products. Most of what mobile health has is anecdotal.
In fact, another tweet highlighted how to solve the problem of trust in mHealth:
We need a new way to study the outcomes of mHealth that will be accepted by us (including doctors).#mhs12
— EMR, EHR and HIT(@ehrandhit) December 5, 2012
The concept is that mHealth is innovating so fast that most of the research methodologies that have been ingrained in healthcare take so long to show results that the technology will have moved so far past the features verified in the study.
I’m not sure the solution to this, but we need to discover new research methodologies that can prove efficacy and quality of mHealth at a fast enough pace that the technology doesn’t render that study irrelevant. If we can do this, then we can build the trust component of mobile health technologies.