The Coming of Age in Wireless and Mobile Health

MAY 29

Last week, the winners of the 2012 TripleTree iAwards were announced at the Wireless Health Convergence Summit in San Diego:

HomeCare HomeBase was awarded for their comprehensive, mobile and fully integrated Web-based software system that improves the administrative, clinical and financial operations for homecare.

Telcare was awarded for their cellular-enabled blood glucose meter that instantly transmits glucose values to a care-management server and provides instant feedback and coaching to patients with diabetes.

Silverlink and Aetna were awarded for their texting program that helps educate, motivate and monitor people with diabetes to more easily and successfully control their condition and avoid costly complications.

These three innovators were selected from a field that included more than 160 nominated companies from twelve countries.  The quantity and quality of nominated companies this year strongly suggests that wireless health is coming of age, as measured by relevance and results in the healthcare system.

The sign of maturity for a technology-based industry segment or marketplace is often noted when the focus shifts from technology to content – when the industry stakeholders realize that the “what” and “when” is more important than the “how” in regards to evaluating healthcare solutions.  Wireless and mobile technology is really just a tool that enables the efficient and effective distribution of information.

Each of presentations that were delivered by the twelve iAward finalists, were AwarePointCenteneConsult-a-DoctorCureMDevitiFitlinxxHomeCare HomeBaseMobile HeartbeatSilverlink/AetnaTelcareWatermark Medical and WellAware, touched on their wireless and mobile technologies but the focus was clearly directed upon their value propositions and tangible results being achieved with real customers.  Discussions in wireless and mobile health space are no longer centered around the “wow factor” of technological innovation but rather on the practical delivery, content and outcomes of the solutions.

This focus on substance over style at this year’s Wireless Health Convergence Summit and iAwards ceremony is a good sign for the wireless and mobile health sector. And, the leadership being exhibited by companies such as the iAwards finalists noted above and organizations such as the Wireless Life Sciences Alliance should be commended.  New solutions are being developed and deployed with a promise to decrease costs and improve outcomes.

Markets are being disrupted and the healthcare system is being transformed by these companies that are leveraging the capabilities of new technology to deploy solutions that are based upon long-standing objectives to improve communications and collaboration between payers, providers and patients to help unify a very fragmented system.  Furthermore, they are helping solve some major issues with solutions that increase accessibility and monitoring of patients without the typical barriers and boundaries.

To fix our broken healthcare system and reverse negative trends, we must continue shifting away from the anti-competitive, expensive and non-transparent model for healthcare services and delivery to a more connected, affordable, personalized and accountable model of healthcare – and it was clear to see that the companies showcased at last week’s Summit are paving the way.

Let us know what you think.

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Chris Hoffmann