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Mobile Health Happenings

It looks like I might have been wrong about mobile health really cropping up at HIMSS15. Then again, maybe I just missed a bunch of them in the mass of attendees that were at the event. Plus, I knew that I’d see the mobile health related companies at mHealth Summit, Connected Health Symposium, Health 2.0 or CES sooner or later. So, I was more interested in the non mobile health related companies at HIMSS.

With that said, every company has some approach to mobile health. Sure, the Apple Watch announcements from Vocera, Epocrates, and Medisafe (to name just a few that I saw) are going to get the headline. Press releases with Apple Watch in their title seem to get extra attention. Press love the latest shiny object even if we have no idea whether the Apple Watch is going to be adopted by the masses (Personally I think it will be a niche device for the rich). However, there are a few mobile happenings that are worth watching.

Text – Don’t underestimate the power of text. It’s amazing what you can do with 140 characters. Of course, in healthcare you need to use secure text (SMS is not HIPAA secure). Turns out that secure text can actually provide a lot of benefits beyond SMS. I’m still very bullish on the simplicity of a text. Feels like a simple solution, but that’s what makes it beautiful. The fact we haven’t fully leveraged it also illustrates how far behind healthcare is compared to other industries.

Mobile Apps – I think there are two kinds of mobile health apps that are breaking out. First is the mobile apps that are tied to enterprise systems. This could be an EHR app or increasingly we’re seeing the population health or analytics vendors pushing the data and communication channels to mobile devices. More innovative is the wellness gaming apps that I’ve seen. I don’t think anyone’s fully cracked the nut yet, but there are some people really working on wellness motivation and behavior change. I expect we’ll see a game changer in this regard in the next 1-2 years.

Sensors – The smartphone or an iPad are becoming the brain for all of these personal health sensors. In fact, the phone is becoming a health sensor itself. Reminds me of CapsuleTech which has been putting black boxes under hospital beds for years in order to get the data from a medical device. Now we all have a “black box” in our pocket that collects and communicates our health data. Personal health sensors are exploding. Implantables is next.

Telemedicine – We want out healthcare when we want it, where we want it. Telemedicine is going to be the solution that solves that problem. Katherine Rourke has a great post up on EMR and HIPAA about the various telemedicine solutions. So, I won’t rehash those options here. However, there’s a wide spectrum of telemedicine offerings and many of them are mobile.

Those are a few of the biggest trends I see in mobile health. I’m sure there’s something I’ve missed. So, I look forward to hearing what I’ve missed in the comments below.

April 22, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Mobile Health Starting to Really Crop Up at HIMSS15

I’ve coined a new hashtag I call the #HIMSSHaze. Any reporters, people working at HIMSS, vendors exhibiting at HIMSS, and related professionals know what the #HIMSSHaze is. As a blogger, the biggest challenge is the 400+ pitches (not accounting for duplicates or pitches that contain 10 companies in one email) that land in my email inbox. It’s a bit overwhelming and they don’t stop even right up until the event. Plus, during the event they then send out all their press releases announcing something at the event.

You can imagine that a lot of stuff gets lost in the noise. However, I like to make a sincere effort to go through each pitch I receive, evaluate it, and at least tell them if I have time or not. At least until my schedule is full. If you waited until now to send it to me, I don’t have much sympathy when I don’t have time to meet because my schedule is full. Luckily, most PR people understand that when they pitch you so late. Although, it’s a bit sad when a great pitch comes in late and your schedule is full, but I digress.

My HIMSS blogger experience aside, what going through 400+ pitches provides me is a great view at what’s going to happen at HIMSS. After reading all of the pitches, press releases, and comments, I have a pretty good feel for the topics that are going to be popular at HIMSS.

One thing that’s clear to me is that mobile health is really starting to finally have a strong presence at HIMSS 2015. Sure, we’ve always had a mobile health startup or two spread around HIMSS. Also, every EHR vendor’s been considering their mobile strategy. However, in 2015 I’m seeing mobile health companies starting to really establish themselves in the industry.

I’ll be talking with a bunch of them at HIMSS and trying to assess the impact they’re really having on healthcare. It’s no surprise that communication apps are some of the strongest in the mobile health space. At the end of the day, quality communication can really improve healthcare. The mobile devices provide a whole suite of new communication opportunities.

I’d love to hear where you see mobile health taking off at HIMSS.

April 8, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Interesting Tweets from #mHealth14

As noted, I didn’t make it to mHealth Summit 2014, but I have been watching on the #mHealth14 Twitter stream. The Twitter stream is not a substitute for in person connections you can make, but it is a substitute for the in person learning.

Here’s a look at a few of the tweets I’ve seen and some personal commentary on each:


The global position of mHealth Summit is worth considering. In some ways that makes the conference less attractive to many US healthcare providers. However, it also could be a wonderful international exchange of ideas.


Major props to the HIMSS social media team. They’ve been killing it with really professionally done vignettes like this one. If Harry means “healthcare system” as an individual healthcare organization, then I agree. If he means the US healthcare system, then I’m not sure I agree. It’s not like we’re going to stop getting healthcare. All of that said, a reminder of the importance of the patient is always good.


This is a common doctor perspective. The responses to the tweet were interesting though. Here’s one that really stood out:


Obviously there is a balance to both things. We haven’t found that balance yet.


This is a common topic at mHealth Summit conferences. I think the answer is yes, but it likely won’t come from the existing healthcare institutions.


Just remember that barriers are a double edged sword. On the one hand they make it hard to implement. On the other hand, it makes it harder for your competitors to copy you once you’ve figured it out. So, take the good with the bad.


Dan’s been talking about this subject for a while. I expect it will be his favorite slide in 2015 too. I’m looking forward to seeing the solutions he puts forward.


Two of my favorite healthcare IT thinkers. These are both extraordinary women. Read their stuff and you’ll see why I like them so much.


Kindness is underestimated because it’s impossible to measure. Starts to make you wonder about what mHealth apps will be most effective.


Barbara totally nailed it. An mHealth app that does this well will be extremely successful.

December 10, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Who’s Going to the mHealth Summit?

I’ve attended the mHealth Summit the past 3-4 years (sorry I lose track). I’ve always enjoyed the experience since I have a lot of friends and colleagues in Washington DC. However, the conference has always been a bit underwhelming for me. This year I didn’t have any other work or friend related things happening in DC and so I won’t be making the long trek to the frigid DC area for the mHealth Summit this year. I’ll admit that I’ve had a busy Fall conference season as well, and so that adds to the desire to not travel.

However, I’m hearing that a lot of people aren’t going to the mHealth Summit 2015. I’ll be interested to hear the final attendee and exhibitor numbers when they come out and see how they compare to past years. Maybe the people I’ve talked to are just an aberration. I’ll admit that as I’ve seen some of the tweets I’ve wondered if I should be there (FOMO at play?). Although, when I think of leaving my wife and kids again, the jealousy mostly departs.

The great part is that I can still watch the mHealth Summit twitter stream (#mhs14 I believe) and get a feel for what’s happening at the conference. I’m sure I’ll see many of the most interesting companies at CES a few weeks later. At least that’s what happened last year. There wasn’t much new to talk about when you see a company at two shows within a month of each other.

I’ll also be interested to see if mHealth Summit can really crack into the general healthcare market. I think this was at least part of the goal when HIMSS took it over. Could HIMSS bring the more traditional healthcare people into the mHealth space?

I’ve heard many people argue that mHealth will eventually just become a standard part of health IT. I agree with this idea. Makes me wonder when mHealth will be a section of HIMSS as opposed to its own conference.

December 3, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Fitbit Force Sales Stopped and Voluntary Recall Begins

The CEO of Fitbit has announced that they have stopped sales of the Fitbit Force and offered a voluntary recall. If you have a Fitbit Force and would like to get a refund, they have set up a dedicated page on their website or call 888-656-6381.

Here’s a comment from the CEO about the reason for the recall:

Late last year, we began selling Fitbit Force, our most advanced activity tracker. Recently, some Force users have reported skin irritation. While only 1.7% of Force users have reported any type of skin irritation, we care about every one of our customers. On behalf of the entire Fitbit team, I want to apologize to anyone affected.

Of course, we know the difference in number between people who report problems and those that have them is very different. It is interesting that their test results show that users are likely experiencing allergic contact dermatitis.

When you think about a watch based product like this, you’d think that the science of materials for watches would be solid. It seems really odd to me that Fitbit and their pile of investor dollars didn’t tap into this science to avoid an issue like this.

The timing for this is also interesting with so many people touting the Fitbit Force as their giveaway at HIMSS 2014. Well, I guess winners now have an easy way to cash it in for $130 if they want as opposed to heading to eBay.

James Park, Fitbit CEO, does note that they’re working on their next generation tracker. I won’t be surprised if the Fitbit Force brand never sees the light of day again. I’m pretty sure they’ll want to take the lessons learned and move forward and put the Force behind them.

February 21, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

What Will Mobile Health’s Presence Look Like at #HIMSS14?

Maybe I have HIMSS 2014 on the mind and for good reason. I have dozens of appointments set and a full schedule of meetings with amazing people. For someone deep into healthcare IT, going to HIMSS with 1200+ vendors and 37k+ attendees is like a kid in a candy store. Everywhere I look there will be something interesting.

For the context of this site, I think it’s worth considering what the mobile health presence will be at HIMSS. My gut prediction is that there won’t be anything special that’s specific to mobile health. However, we will see mobile health as a part of every single company’s strategy. I guess some might consider this fact pretty special.

Think about what this means. Has mobile health finally just become a part of the broader healthcare IT?

I think this is indeed the case. Some people predicted this previously, but I think that this HIMSS we’ll essentially see that it’s become a reality. Mobile Health isn’t its own industry, but is just the natural outgrowth and evolution of healthcare IT in general.

What I do think will be interesting to watch is health IT companies that start with a mobile first strategy. In the EHR world DrChrono and the Kareo EHR (originally the Epocrates EHR) are a couple that have worked to be mobile first EHR. It will be interesting to see the suite of applications that entrepreneurs create with a mobile first design process in mind.

I’ll be interested to see what I discover with mobile and smartphones at HIMSS. I’ll be sure to report back on my findings.

February 18, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

The mHealth Digital Divide

At the mHealth Summit, Steve Case offered an interesting insight about mHealth doing amazing things with mobile, but hospitals still being worried about updating Windows XP.”

This is one of my key takeaways at the mHealth Summit. There’s a large digital divide between what’s happening in the mobile health world and the reality of most healthcare organizations (Doctors and Hospitals). It would be great if those organizations would partner with these companies trying to innovate in the mobile health space, but unfortunately most are too busy focusing on all the government regulations (ie. ICD-10, meaningful use and ACOs).

What I don’t see is a bridge being built to bridge this divide. Maybe the fact that HIMSS now owns the mHealth Summit event will help. Hopefully the HIMSS audience will finally embrace what’s happening and join in on the conversation. Although, I’m betting that will happen a lot slower than we’d all like.

Anyone who’s tried to sell into healthcare (particularly hospitals) knows what a challenge that can be. Many of the companies developing these mobile health apps don’t come from healthcare. I love the outside influence and knowledge coming into healthcare, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be able to sell into healthcare. Like most enterprises, the sales process can be brutal.

December 10, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

mHealth and Digital Health Event List

Update: Looks like Paul moved his list to this new location.

Props go out to Paul Sonnier for creating this list of mHealth and Digital Health events. It shows you how many events are happening in the mobile health and digital health space.

My problem with this list is that I want to attend all of the events. This is a problem since I’ve been trying really hard not to travel for events. I traveled a bit too much to start the year and that took its toll on my family. So, I’m hoping to limit my travel for at least the rest of the year. We’ll see how well I can resist.

There are a few events where people are paying for me to attend the event and cover it on my network of sites and on Twitter. That makes it much easier to justify attending. Otherwise, I might be attending a lot of these conferences virtually as I follow their various hashtags on Twitter.

The unfortunate thing as I look at the list is that it doesn’t have any digital health events listed for Las Vegas. One year I was spoiled with HIMSS, ANI, and MGMA all in Las Vegas the same year. This year it seems like we’re looking at a bit of a drought.

What digital health and mHealth events are you planning to attend? Which events do you think I should attend?

July 18, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

mHealth Summit Next Week

We’re really excited to be participating in the mHealth Summit in Washington, DC next week. We attended the event last year and are excited to see the various technologies that will be there again this year.

I was told that they’re expecting about 4000 attendees at the conference and about 300 vendors. I’m excited to see how the conference goes post-HIMSS acquisition. So far I’ve seen nothing but good things come from the acquisition by HIMSS.

My schedule is chalk full of meetings with various mHealth companies. So, I’ll try to get as much information for you from the event as possible.

You can follow all of the happenings at the mHealth Summit on Twitter using the hashtag #mhs12. If you plan to be at the conference, I’d love to connect with you in person.

November 30, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Most Popular Mobile Device at HIMSS11

I think it was quite evident that there was one mobile device that was by far the most popular mobile device at the healthcare IT conference, HIMSS 2011. The funny thing is that despite being the most popular device, the vendor of this device was no where to be found among the 1000+ HIMSS exhibitors. Yes, that’s right. There were 1000 exhibitors at HIMSS and the most popular mobile health device vendor was no where to be found.

Of course, if you haven’t guessed already, the most popular mobile device at HIMSS 11 was definitely the iPad.

It seemed like about every other booth had an iPad giveaway. Every EMR vendor at HIMSS had some sort of iPad strategy and many made announcements at HIMSS about their new iPad EMR. Sadly, I didn’t walk away with an iPad myself, unless some nice vendor contacts me in the next couple days saying that I won their drawing. Then, I’d jump for joy.

I find it pretty amazing that the iPad was marketed so well at HIMSS at a cost of $0. Yes, I saw the Fujitsu iPad like offering (although really a tablet with the iPad form factor and related similarities). I also saw the yet to be released Blackberry playbook. Yet, there was no booth for Apple. There were no Apple sales or marketing people at HIMSS. There was no big Apple party at HIMSS. Yet, there’s no doubt that the iPad came off a big winner at HIMSS.

February 28, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.