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Oct 4 2012   9:35AM GMT

5 key takeaways on the future of mobile health

Posted by: Jenny Laurello
ACO, Data analytics, mHealth, mobile health

As the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus trucks stealthily unloaded in the depths of the DCU Center in Worcester, Mass., the health IT geeks of New England headed up to the third floor for the Massachusetts Health Data Consortium’s HealthMart’12 Conference and Trade Show and DataPalooza. A few of the groups providing industry updates were CMS Boston, HHS and the Massachusetts eHealth Institute, with accountable care organization (ACO) success, data analytics and community and state-wide EHR implementations being only a few of the topics on the docket for discussion.

A session focused on the future of mHealth adoption, usage and impact throughout the industry was led by Rob Havasy, technical architect for Partners Center for Connected Health and friend of and the Health IT Exchange.

“People need action, relevance and consequence to change behavior,” Rob explained, calling on a very fitting parallel of people slowing down when driving past a road side speedometer that shows a driver’s current speed against the posted limit.

“You need both ability and motivation to be able to change behavior. If a behavior isn’t changing, then one of those two is lacking. And since ability matters more, you have to make things easier, especially in the case of patients. Mobile does this.”

Havasy also noted five key takeaways in terms of the ability to utilize mobile health technology for increased patient engagement and improved care plan adherence:

  1. Success is about changing a behavior
  2. Feedback is a powerful force for behavior change
  3. Mobile technology is uniquely suited for collecting information
  4. It is possible to start small and innovate quickly
  5. Barriers remain which hinder adoption in health care

“To have an impact (on patient behaviors), we need to leverage and connect the technology to other parts of our lives,” Rob reinforced, “and for that, mobile is a pretty powerful platform. “


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