11-22-13 | Blog Post

The Impact of mHealth: Midwest HIMSS Conference Recap

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Last week Online Tech was in Milwaukee at the Midwest HIMSS Fall Technology Conference exhibiting our HIPAA compliant hosting solutions. There were about thirty different sessions on a variety of different topics related to healthcare IT, and with such a large concentration of healthcare professionals, the conversation was enriching. Here’s a recap from one of the most prolific topics regarding healthcare IT today: mobile.

Preventative care and wellness

In the session Key Success Factors to Delivering Population Health Management, Marilyn Follen and Kate Konitzer propose a new healthcare model for the future. This model is dependent on connectivity, rapid innovation, and proactive, wellness care. They propose that this focus will help stabilize or decrease costs compared to our reactive, episodic care as it currently stands.

Dr. Nate Brady, the Director for Occupational Medicine at Mercy Medical Center focused his entire session on mobile health, and it’s effect on long term health and wellness programs. Citing rising health insurance costs as well as an increase in chronic conditions that are linked to lifestyle choices, he feels it’s important to link wellness coaching to technology. From one of his slides:

“$2.4 Trillion (and rising) in U.S. healthcare costs. There is a lack of effective strategies to connect with patients and create change.”


Likely one of the biggest reasons mHealth is becoming an increasingly important topic, is that it allows healthcare providers and patients alike more capability and control over diagnosis and treatment. In the first morning’s keynote, Howard J. Jacob went into great detail about how the cost to sequence a person’s genome has dropped dramatically with technological advancements, and how that information can be accessed immediately to help understand the simple and peculiar turns our health can take. He pulled up his genome from his iPad, and picked out inconsistencies specific to his health, to make the point.

Also, Bryan Weichelt and Chris Kadolph spoke about a group called Million Hearts that challenged developers to create a mobile app that could improve heart health. The Marshfield Clinic created an app in 30 days, including a disease risk engine, information on screening locations close to the app user, and a mini-game that could be unlocked by further heart health education. This is something that can provide more real-time data to physicians and patients alike, which wasn’t possible 50 years ago.

Mobile health is such a huge topic, that mHIMSS also has an entire summit devoted specificially to it. The fifth annual mHealth Summit will be in Washington D.C. December 8th-11th. Online Tech will be there as well, so if you’re in town come visit us at booth #1112 while we talk about security in the era of mobile.

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