Mobile Health Missing at MGMA13

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.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference,, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.