It’s a catchy headline that everyone must read. The problem is that the evidence is still not there to prove this type of headline. Sure, we’ve seen a ton of encouraging signs with mobile health. In fact, I’m also quite confident that we’re going to to the day that mobile health will indeed reduce costs. Although, I think we’re still waiting for the hard core data and evidence that such is the case and which mobile health apps actually produce results.
Let me give you an example of the way mobile health is being reported (in many cases). Check out this article by iHealth Beat. Here are just the headlines which tell an interesting story:
Title: Health Care Providers Tapping Mobile Health Tools To Reduce Costs
* Cost-Savings Potential
* Prototype Devices in Testing
* More Incentives Needed?
Does this line of thinking make any sense at all?
If it’s true that mobile health is providing cost savings, then why is there a need for incentives? Trust me, if the cost savings were really apparent, then there wouldn’t need to be any incentives. Plus, incentives can often lead to perverse issues like we’ve seen with the EHR incentive money.
I’m hopeful that we’ll see a sea of mobile health applications that really do appreciable and transparently lower the cost of healthcare for providers and patients. I just think we’re still early in the curve of knowing the benefits of deploying technology. Those companies that nail it are going to be extremely successful though. It’s entrepreneurship at its best.