mHealth a 'main theme' of International CTIA

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Last week’s International CTIA Wireless I.T. & Entertainment 2009 conference had multiple sessions and breaking news on mHealth, telecare and telehealth initiatives. The CTIA blog covers these topics as noted and more (scroll down).  Note related news, releases and direct links.

Harris Interactive/CTIA Survey:  The “vast appeal” cited is that 78% of Americans surveyed express interest in mHealth. A great topline number, but for this marketer drilling down, the numbers get ‘soft’ for ‘right now’ motivation.  Only 15% are extremely/very interested in learning more, 19% are willing to upgrade their current wireless plan to include mHealth and 11% are willing to switch carriers (the real test).  40% believe that mHealth would supplement (not replace) care they currently receive with 23% envisioning replacement of doctor visits.  The good news for telecare/telehealth providers is that survey respondents agreed strongly with these statements:  “access to mobile health services would allow for more home-based care” (68%), “make the patient feel like they are always being watched” (certainly a mixed message in this statement, but 57% agreed), and “offer a measure of safety for patients or their family/friends” (57%).  There’s a long road to real acceptance, but early indicators are promising.  Press release

Telehealth:  Kent Dicks, President of MedApps, makes the case for his solution, which is a non-cellphone M2M device that works on a ‘plug and play’ model with off-the-shelf monitors (glucose, blood pressure, etc.).  He advocates simplicity, encouraging compliance, portability and cost-effectiveness, although he sees cell phone convergence down the road.  Audio interview 

Also see the blog for interviews:  CardioNet (Aaron Goldmuntz) and AirStrip Technologies (Dr. Cameron Powell)

Computerworld’s coverage of one panel is ‘back to reality’ with two real world issues: the slow approval process that wireless health devices are having in obtaining FDA (U.S. Food & Drug Administration) approval, and lower insurance reimbursements. Panel included Montage Systems (Wireless Healthphone), CardioNet and InTouch.  Article