The mobile and digital health market: A look beyond data collection

by Maureen McCarthy on October 30, 2014

The mobile and digital health market is evolving with great intensity and speed. The surge in wearable technology, health-related apps and the explosion of digital health communication continue to flood the marketplace.

Joseph Kvedar, MD, of Partners Healthcare’s Center for Connected Health—who took part in a think tank of panelists at Boston Children’s Hospital’s Global Pediatric Innovation Summit + Awards 2014—says this surge is the beginning of the “mHealth” revolution:

Panelist Daniel Nigrin, MD, Boston Children’s chief information officer, provided one example of how patients and families are craving these technologies, specifically those surrounding disease monitoring:

Joining Nigrin, Kvedar and moderator Scott Kirsner, columnist with the Boston Globe were panelists Nicholas Negroponte, co-founder and chairman emeritus of MIT Media Lab; Ido Schoenberg, MD, chairman and CEO of American Well; and Mandira Singh, MBA, senior business development manager at athenahealth.

Though in agreement that mobile and digital health market is fast moving, these industry experts say it’s far from utopia. Patients want access to their medical information. As Singh noted, how it is delivered is a work in progress:

Looking beyond data retrieval, translating and communicating the data to patients in a more useful and easily accessible form and supporting outcomes will be an integral part of the next wave of mHealth innovation.

“These (technologies) can’t just be thrown out there to the general public and say, ‘here, strap this on and start streaming me data.’ It needs to be a coordinated effort—patients and families together with providers of care, together with manufacturers, together with EHR systems,” says Nigrin. “There needs to be an environment surrounding these things, because streams of data just arriving on the clinician’s doorstep are not going to do it. It needs to be done in an integrated way.”

For more about Boston Children’s Global Pediatric Innovation Summit + Awards 2014, watch this space, visit or follow the hashtag #PedInno14 on Twitter.

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