I just finished my participation at the MGMA Annual Conference in San Diego. It’s a really great event for healthcare and this year it was buzzing with practice managers that play such a crucial role to the business of healthcare.
At the conference there was certainly an extreme interest in IT as represented by the vendor floor which was dominated by health IT vendors and of course EHR vendors. There’s little doubt that the IT revolution is hitting every healthcare organization. However, as I think through all the vendors I saw and the discussions I had, mobile health wasn’t really on the radar.
Sure, every EHR vendor had their approach to mobile. I also had some discussions where we tangentially talked about some quantified self mobile devices. The conference itself had a nice mobile app which I heard was a big improvement over previous years. MGMA even mentioned that mobile was an important part of their path forward. However, I didn’t see a big presence from mobile health companies that I’d find at mHealth Summit or CES (Consumer Electronics Show).
In some ways I think this illustrates the divide that is found between the mobile health movement and healthcare organizations. Certainly many mobile health companies are thinking too far ahead, but I believe it’s also true that many healthcare organizations are way behind on what’s possible with mobile health. I think there’s going to be some unfortunate consequences if healthcare organizations choose to continue to lag behind. If I’m a doctor or a healthcare organization, I want to be part of the mobile health conversation and not just beholden to it after the fact. I’m afraid we’re heading for the later.
It’s possible there was more mobile health presence at MGMA and I just missed it. I did like that MGMA is trying to embrace social media more fully including the Cerner sponsored Tweet Street. Plus, the #MGMA13 hashtag seemed more lively than in past years.
We’ll see how this continues to evolve, but I’d love to see more healthcare organizations embrace mobile health technologies. As it currently stands, it seems that many are choosing to ignore them.