You cannot pick up a trade journal, newspaper or watch the news at night without hearing about some new spectacular development in the wireless device or application market. It reminds me of the Internet boom era, especially the Super Bowl ads during that time, which included infamous characters like the Pets.com puppet.
That said; there is more substance to this new frontier we have come to know as the wireless health space.
The overwhelming number of mobile phone applications being introduced every day combined with the innovative uses of the mobile technology framework to solve complex challenges in healthcare is clear evidence that mobile can play an integral role in the current and reformed healthcare vertical. Combine the existing efforts with the current mobile applications development boom that is occurring, thanks in part to Apple's iPhone, iPad, and the App Store and the inertia is irrefutable. These facts when combined with the fever pitch of healthcare reform have created an environment where almost overnight there is a healthcare mobile phone application for everything that ails you.
Having just returned from the ATA (American Telemedicine Association) trade show and plenary this trend is showing no signs of slowing down. There were so many health care applications for mobile technology that it would take several days and many more pages to describe a fraction of the solutions and would not be justified in this forum. However, it seems like a good time to bring up some facts to consider about this fledgling mobile healthcare environment.
Adoption: The majority of solutions are individually launched and vertically oriented - that is to say the solutions presented are designed to manage a disease like diabetes (very popular for obvious reasons), medication reminders or messaging for care management engagement. The vendors presenting these applications include one common theme throughout every value proposition: They will have superior end user adoption based on any number of suppositions like "ease of use" or "coo" features. Ask about real adoption numbers, however, and the answers become harder to understand. The fact is that many applications, healthcare or otherwise, that do not impact an individual's lifestyle positively or in a meaningful way (LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter) simply go unused or deleted all together. Healthcare is no different.