Mobile Health Device Stores

My last post was about curated mobile health app stores and the value of app stores generally for mobile health. The major players I know of that are trying to deliver curated mobile health app stores are Happtique and HealthTap. You could also lump in EHR vendors like Greenway, Allscripts, and athenahealth since apps that connect to those platforms are essentially apps stores, and maybe the most relevant ones for providers who use those EHRs.

Mobile Health Device Stores

My conclusion was that the real value in the curation of health apps is for systems, payers, and providers. Consumers don’t use app stores for browsing and they won’t use curated ones, either. Consumers will go to app stores to find specific apps or they’ll get to app stores through links to specific apps. The curated app stores hold value for providers, though, especially as more and more providers are start learning or hearing about mobile apps.

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Who’s Eating Healthcare?

As Robert Cringley recently noted, computers empower unparalleled discrimination. Before insurance companies could calculate rates on an individualized basis, they calculated rates based on population pools. They simply didn’t have the computing power or prowess to discriminate at the individual level. As a result, the healthy financially supported the unhealthy by average premiums across population pools.

In the 1990s, the cost of computing fell to a point that payers could discriminate. So they did. Payers could easily identify patients that would incur high costs based on a relatively simple set of questions about one’s health. For many patients, payers were so concerned that healthcare costs would be so high that they’d prefer not to take on any risk at all and simply refuse to insure the patient. This has been the controversial norm for the better part of the last 15 years.

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Getting Users in App Stores

Have you ever marketed a mobile app? Or even just thought about how you’d do it if you had a mobile app to market? It doesn’t have to be an app in healthcare. I’ll get to the punch line — it’s pretty damned hard!

Getting Users in App Stores

It’s really not a “build it and they will come” sort of thing. Even apps that seemingly take off at launch usually had some legwork done beforehand to get the a buzz in the right circles, and I’m thinking of non-health apps for apps that took off at launch. There are exceptionally few types of apps that people are searching for that aren’t already available, so users are unlikely to find an app just because it exists.

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Computers are Eating Healthcare, Part 2

This is the second in a series of posts that outlines how computers are eating the world. Check out Part 1.

Humans do three things and only three things: process information, store information, and share information. Everything in life, both virtual and physical (firing neurons drive physical movement), can be understand in these terms. Humans never can and never will do anything else.

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The Rise of Specialty-Specific HIT

Outside of the big boy HIT world of large enterprise companies like Epic, Cerner, athenahealth, and Allscripts, health IT seems to mostly be going the route of specialized products. Maybe it’s just my personal filters these days, but I seem to see more and more niche offerings. Niche makes sense, as I don’t think most companies — startups or large enterprises entering health IT — would have success if they tried to sell Kaiser on an Epic replacement.

The Rise of Specialty-Specific HIT

Just this week was news about offerings specific to cardiology and ophthalmology. AliceCor is now offering remote, expert review of ECG readings from the AliveCor device. Patients or providers can opt to pay a fee for a cardiac technician or a larger fee for a board-certified cardiologist. The site doesn’t list the price for these services. The sell is around peace of mind and the ability of the patient to do ECGs as needed.

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