4 New Trends in mHealth

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1.     Networked Health

Ars Technica reports “healthcare organizations are pushing more aggressive use of network bandwidth and cloud technology. “This covers everything from telemedicine to getting a copy of your doctor’s notes or lab results after an appointment. Due to a boom in cloud technology, the ACA’s emphasis on quality of care, and a drive to attack common health problems by monitoring and engaging with patients, network driven healthcare applications are probably going to get even bigger over time.

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2.     Apple Watch

Sure, wearables are old hat. Even the concept of a smartwatch isn’t that new (calling Dick Tracy). Still, Apple’s venture into the game means the smartwatch and wearables markets are getting the heavy infusion of cachet and media attention that any Apple launch receives. Simply put, by lending their name to a health-centered wearable, Apple has done worlds to move mHealth towards being just health. Plus: as Apple welcomes wearables into the lives of millions, so too will follow mHealh-focused developers. Wired notes Apple’s focus on the hardware of the iWatch plus its new Healthkit software suite “shows the importance of integrated health” in this marketplace, and portends further big things from Cupertino in the mHealth realm.

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3.     Social Diseases

People love to complain about their health. TMI plus social media plus some analytics equals a new way to track the spread (and predict the future movements) of disease. Remember how Google’s search results beat out the CDC’s disease tracking a few years ago? A new company called Sickweather wants to follow everything from the Flu to Entovirus, based solely on what Twitter is saying. Founder Graham Dodge says in the Washington Post that once data is aggregated “the inaccuracy really fades away,” and they can track the spread of a disease from city to city in near real time—a pretty advanced scientific use for many an office denizen’s time wasting platform of choice.

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4.     Mobile Payments

Your phone just became your wallet. Granted, microloans and mobile payments have been big overseas for a while—now that momentum is coming to the US, wrapped up in the latest technology the marketplace has to offer. While its implications for healthcare payments may be a little ways off, offerings like Apple Payments, Google Wallet, and Samsung’s joint venture with PayPal show the technology world is betting big on mobile payments becoming the norm. Elliott Frantz, founder and CEO, of Virtue Security “Once the payment model changes, it may also pave the way for all electronic access, even medical records and other health data.”

by Benjamin Harris