There’s a new buzz word in Health Information Technology: mHealth. mHealth is the term used to describe mobile health, which differs from eHealth. eHealth focuses on technologies to change healthcare, while mHealth focuses on consumers’ behavioral and structural changes to foster participatory healthcare.
In e-Health, the vision is that computers will increase the efficiencies of healthcare processes. mHealth, in contrast, is patient-centered, and focuses on utilizing mobile devices/technology to collect data through text, images, emails . However, it is unlikely that consumers will adopt mHealth on their own. For mHealth to truly thrive, health providers must adopt this technology first.
Last week in Washington D.C., The Mobile Health Initiative (mHI) event took place. mHI founders Peter Waegmann and Claudia Tessier were keynote speakers. Mr. Waegmann is also the founder of the Medical Records Institute. In his keynote presentation, he suggests that mHealth may take 15 or 20 years to catch on, but the mHealth revolution “will happen.” He makes a critical point that mobile systems are just enablers of change; they are not creating the changes. To create change the healthcare system at large must adopt, integrate, and utilize mHealth technologies so that patients/consumers will see the value of these tools.