The uncertain price of mHealth–it's the data charge (US)

Recent announcements by Verizon and AT&T to move from unlimited data to ‘tiered’ data plans for smartphones was one day’s news, but the adverse effects on adoption of SMS based telehealth programs will last a lot longer.  The problem is simple text messaging services like Text4Baby [TA 4 Feb], which if not free (as for Text4Baby) can push data charges over plan limits–leading to program refusal rates of 20% or more. Cost certainty and predictability for payors, developers and users are needed if wireless companies want to get to the green pastures of mHealth.  Note the comments likening the wireless companies to the airline industry (ouch!) and the ethics of inbound charges.  Rob Havasy’s analysis, Center for Connected Health