From the mHealth Summit 11/9/10

Day Two of the mHealth Summit followed a similar pattern to day one, though I think speakers have learned what needs to be said to get an applause – namely, something about open standards or solutions built to meet the needs of customers. The focus here is definitely global in nature, and as such, the audience and speakers heavily represent the academic and development sectors.  I think this is what is making the summit so intriguing, but also what is making certain answers, in particular around business models, elusive.

The themes of summit, according to me and which I will try to expand on tomorrow at the conclusion of the summit, that seem to be revisited in almost every super session, breakout, or keynote are:

  • Open Standards / Architecture / Source.
  • Ability / Readiness to Scale
  • Sustainable Business Models for mHealth
  • Develop with Customer Needs in Mind
  • Integrate mHealth Solutions into Health Systems

Additionally, maybe I’m choosing the wrong breakout sessions but I’ve found the super sessions, keynotes, and exhibits to be much more valuable than the breakouts in terms of content.  The one exception was a breakout session on using enterprise architecture to design systems, though this session was not very mobile-heavy.  The breakout from this morning was on remote monitoring and health outcomes, which entailed investigators going through projects focused on alcohol dependence, food habits, and diabetes.  

The big names today at the event were Ted Turner and Bill Gates.  Gates provided some interesting perspective on the power of mHealth both in the US and abroad.  His opinion was that in the US, you need to go beyond providing information if you want to change behaviors.  He also said vendors need to show that the solution works, and hopefully saves money, and then try to sell it through somebody.  He said internationally the biggest change would be created by a solution that improved vaccine adherence.

Ted Turner’s talk, which was short, was probably the most entertaining.  He is definitely a smart, practical guy and a straight shooter, admitting to not reading his own magazine any more because it has too much coverage of movie stars, which he doesn’t have time for.  He said a couple of other things that I wanted to get down.  When asked about advice to all the innovators in the room, he said “Early to bed, early to rise, work hard, and advertise”, which is very sage advice.  He also went on to say that his passion now is nuclear weapons disarmament, adding something to the effect of you can connect all the health information in the world but what good is it all if a nuclear weapon blows it all up

Lots of press releases this week from attendees of the summit.


West Wireless Health Institute unveils Sense4Baby, a tool for remotely monitoring fetal activity.  A demo video was shown with providers counseling pregnant patients on its use.  


Diversinet wins a five-year contract from the US Army to provide its MobiSecure platform in support of returning wounded veterans.


Entra Health System announces that MyGlucoHealth Wireless, a Bluetooth glucometer, is now a part of NASA SEWP, making it available for procurement by federal, state, and local government agencies.

text4baby announces an extension of its partnership with Johnson & Johnson to expand text services to pregnant women.  Additionally, text4baby is being supported by HHS to help meet the goal of 1 million subscribers in the US by 2012.

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