Mobile is no longer winning, it has already won

As Eric Schmit, Google’s Chairman said to Bloomberg, Dec 30th 2013, “Mobile is no longer winning, it has already won”.  But in Canadian Healthcare, why can I still count the mHealth successes without taking my socks off?

What is it going to take to harness the power of the mobile, social [media], internet and the game changing possibilities of connected devices / Machine to Machine (M2M) to truly power patient centric care?

In a recent column I considered the top 1, 5 and 20% ‘frequent flyer’ patients, and how we can harness stakeholders from those outside of healthcare. The sick boomers of today will become ever sicker boomers of tomorrow. How do we educate and enable the 80%, to prevent or delay them becoming the 20%, the 20% becoming the 5% and so on?

I think it’s time to go beyond (yawn) banking and travel examples.  Could game developers like Jane McGonigal have the answer?

There was a funny story on CBC a few weeks ago about two British twins (6 year olds) who stole their family iPad for a couple of days and racked up

$1600 in ‘in-app’ purchases for virtual pets.  Their dad should have got them a real dog – walking is free healthy exercise after all!

How can we make healthy eating that compelling?  Could tracking glucose levels be fun?  I believe a fully mobile, highly social, engaging experience must be the foundation.

Imagination and Innovation
The bant team have harnessed this power.  They have deployed an elegant app enable diabetic’s to:

  • Capture readings with a single swipe
  • Store reading in a HealthVault (PHR)
  • Annualize 7, 14, 21 & 90 day trends
  • Connect with the diabetes community
  • Customize alerts & appearance

Points add up to prizes, incenting behaviour, and more importantly education Diabetics to manage their condition in real time.

Enable your customers
With Pharma Space consumers have web and mobile access to their complete medication record, online refills, and renewals.  Also approved family member and care workers can access their patient’s drug profiles, assisting compliance.  Pharmacists also build customer loyalty and engagement.

It’s time to get SuperBetter
SuperBetter isn’t a game. It’s just a tool created by Jane McGonigal and her team who take the best of games and apply it to your real life so you can get stronger, happier, and healthier. 

In all these examples we are harnessing the power of the patient and family to impact their own health.

To succeed a tiered mhealth care model is required, ranging from:

  • Fitness, Diet + Wellness to help the worried well, stay healthy.
  • ‘Assisted’ Self-Care where patients manage their own care but have access to education, analytics and alerts/escalation to clinicians.
  • Virtual Care where telemedicine staff manage patients, monitor care plans and intervene as required.
  • Health Care – in person care, that is fully enabled with the right information at the point to care.

These models need to be anchored with mobile device management (MDM), harness the BYOD trend and be distributed via an enterprise app store to ensure the appropriate security and privacy measures in place.

Yes mHealth need oversight, so let’s get on with it and not slow down without it.  The technology is ready; governance needs to catch up, quickly.

Commit to a mHealth action plan with your stakeholder community.  Engage a trusted advisor, harness clinicians who want to drive change and enable patients to be at the centre of their own care.

Invest in 3 mobile + social initiatives for FY14/15 to address your clinicians, patients and family/friends collective needs.

In summary, if every new initiative in 2014 is not anchored in mobile, enabled by social and scalable to reach large group of Canadians via an assisted self-care model, we have frankly wasted this new opportunity to deliver the patient centric care Canadians now expect.

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