Wander alert? 19% of US health organizations pursuing mHealth without a reason

You wonder where the ‘driver’ is. This sobering survey of 106 healthcare organizations by Mass.-based IT consulting firm Medullan found that 19% of 106 healthcare providers, insurers and other healthcare-related organizations, when asked why they were pursuing mHealth initiatives, cited ‘no driver’–as in ‘no reason why’. Even more shocking, ‘no driver’ was picked as the top ‘reason’ (23.4%) by respondents from the largest organizations–1,000 to 4,999 employees–plus, by category, pharmaceutical and medical device companies. Overall, 17% named “increased member/customer/patient engagement,” 15% picked “pressure to compete with other organizations,” 14% chose “improved health outcomes,” 13% cited “member/customer/patient retention,” 12% “cost savings” and 10% “organization brand and marketing.” (Perhaps the ‘no driver’ is really ‘everyone else is doing it’ and ‘we have to be cool and hip like the provider down the block.’)

The lack of focus continues to goal setting. Answers to the question “What is the key challenge your organization faces in achieving its mHealth goals?” were similarly fuzzy. 32% indicated no clear strategy or execution plan, 30% a lack of leadership and 28% “lack of skill set in-house.” While there may be quibbles with the methodology, or an analogy to internet adoption (see comments from Chris Wasden of PwC), mHealth’s been around long enough for organizations to sink at least part of their teeth into it. How to avoid a similar-to-internet waste of time, patient benefit, abandoned systems and money? When implementing, mHealth providers should take all this into account to get buy-in and (sometimes tediously gained) understanding of ‘reasons why’ that work for that particular organization, especially around workflow streamlining and ease of use. Survey: 1 in 5 healthcare companies takes on mHealth without a clear goal (mHIMSS)