The Real Truth about Why We’re not Getting mHealth Apps

Earlier today, I spent the time to comment and refute the claims of a so-called expert on mHealth, claiming that we’re going to being seeing all kinds of cool new mHealth health apps in the coming years. The expert is Chad Udell, and his projects appeared today in the on-line journal Health-Care IT News, and under the title, “mHealth Poised to Explode, Expert Says.”

Why am I bringing it up here? The publisher removed my comment, no doubt because I questioned the expert in their story. So, I am reposting my comment below for you all to read it objectively. And then you can read what the article and expert said that I disagreed with.

“I’m sorry, but I can’t disagree more with this author on his mHealth story. For an (health care) industry that consumes far more of the nation’s GDP than any other sector, the availability of mobile apps is really off the mark, and I don’t see it changing anytime soon.

The Food & Drug Administration two years ago drafted new guidance that will complicate and slow the introduction of mobile health apps, no doubt at the bequest of big insurance, the AMA, and big pharma and medical device companies. The only hope I see of a change in these policies lies in if consumers (patients) scale back the use of drugs and medical procedures, and this would require a lot of consumer frustration. But, the increasing copays and deductables are fueling such sentiments.

At the end of the day, consumers are being asked to pay an ever-increasing share of their medical care, while having limited control, objective information, and patient tools needed in their care. Eventually patients will DEMAND new patient care and mHealth tools. But it hasn’t occurred yet in Western Medicine.
Any writer or analyst who purports to know WHEN and HOW this will occur would now doubt be poised to be a billionaire. And I don’t see investors lining up!

I’ve had ten CNS shunt surgeries since 1992 for a post traumatic hydrocephalus disorder. In 1997, I designed and patented a software monitoring system for this disorder, much like the Impact Test for post concussion. It took a lot of push to bring the Impact Test into widespread use, though it did’t eliminate clinical care & core hospital care like my hydrocephalus app would. A lot of the care eliminated by the Impact Test were neuropsych and unnecessary rebab for affected patients. Today, sports concussion is now widely diagnosed and cared for via the Impact Test.

Arguably, an app like my DiaCeph Test would have a similar impact on hydrocephalus care. Yet, hydrocephalus doesn’t have the same push as did concussion. Most people today still don’t know what it is. So the prospects of an mHealth app anytime soon for hydrocephalus look bleak.

We’re in for a long fight as to getting the kind of mHealth apps needed today. But, please share your thoughts and ideas here.

Stephen Dolle
Dolle Communications

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