mHealth and the Cloud
By Dylan Cicero and Adam Fine, Sales Support and Social Media Associates
June 25, 2012
The 10th International Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York City drew over 100 firms spanning a wide array of geographies and all areas of the cloud space. Situated in a corner of the expo floor, Happtique’s booth was eyed by attendees with more than a little curiosity, as if we were the oddball in the cloud community. Indeed, we were. But the relevance of the cloud for Happtique cannot be overstated, especially when you consider the momentum of the mHealth industry.
Two things will likely define the new age of healthcare. The first is the digitization of information. As a provision of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, physicians who haven’t implemented an electronic medical record (EMR) system by 2015 could see their Medicare payments cut. EMRs have the potential to improve the quality of care by, among other things, aiding physician decision-making. Perhaps more importantly, digitized health records allow providers to have access to a standardized set of information, thus enabling providers to communicate more effectively about their patients.
The second defining feature of the new age of healthcare will be enhanced data collection, bringing evidence-based medicine to the next level. As part of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute—a group that funds research to determine the most effective treatment options for patients, caregivers, and clinicians—has already been established. Moreover, EMRs will make consolidated healthcare data available for evaluation by data-analysis teams searching for best practices—a kind of evidence-based medicine on steroids. mHealth, Happtique’s focus, is also at the core of healthcare data consolidation. Consider connected mobile devices like the iBGStar® blood glucose monitor, which enables diabetics to test their blood glucose levels and then digitally store the results, or the Zeo® Sleep Manager™, which monitors and stores patients’ sleep patterns.
mHealth will carry the digitized healthcare revolution even further. Over 15,000 health and fitness applications already exist, with countless more in development. Four out of five physicians currently use mobile devices at work. And it is estimated that 500 million people will be using health apps by 2015. Our mRx™ pilot trials are commencing with the belief that app prescribing will bolster preventative healthcare and foster enhanced connectivity between patients and physicians.
The cloud is one avenue by which this data revolution may occur. The cloud facilitates the collection from mobile devices and secure storage of all this data and will enable the next stage of healthcare.