Connected Health is Like Going from Printed Maps to Waze

At the Connected Health Summit this year, I had a chance to talk with Chris Nicholson, CEO of mPulse Mobile. I was really impressed with what mPule Mobile was doing and I loved that they were actually doing things and not just talking about things that they could do. Sure was a refreshing experience from many other meetups with startups in this space.

During our discussion, Chris offered an interesting comparison between healthcare before connected health and healthcare after. I wasn’t recording our discussion, but here’s the gist of his comparison.

In the past health tech was kind of like a static map that was outdated as soon as it was printed. New tech is like Waze which is being constantly updated. Waze evolves based on a variety of factors and data to be able to create a custom experience for the user.

For those not familiar with Waze (Now owned by Google), it uses everyone’s driving information in order to make sure you’re taking the fastest route possible. The app has been so successful, it has caused new traffic problems in neighborhoods when Waze would reroute drivers through a neighborhood most people wouldn’t have thought to take to avoid a trouble area. It caused so much traffic in these neighborhoods, a lot of neighbors got really upset.

While there are challenges with any application, I think that Chris’ comparison is a good one. The EHR is essentially a static map of a person’s visit to the doctor. That information is outdated almost immediately after the patient leaves the doctor’s office. It’s great for historical understanding, but certainly isn’t a real time look at what could most benefit a patient’s health.

As I prepare for CES next week, I’m excited to see the slew of health sensors and health applications that will be at the conference. These combinations of technology will get us closer to the Waze of healthcare where our health status and the status of where our health is headed is updated in real time. I haven’t seen the Waze of healthcare yet. Have you?

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.


  • Waze has shown me areas of my city,Atlanta and other cities I traveI in. I would never have known existed. Trusting it really works can save you time and headaches. I loved John’s analogy to healthcare. I feel trusting and using connected care to wave through challenges could help healthcare but it may be a great new view. Just trust and enjoy the view. Though I do live in a A neighborhood that we had to contact Waze to re-direct traffic not go through our neighborhoo. Waze was very cooperative and we build a relationship with them that let us know where they were wrecks right around our neighborhood. So it does take some work to make it work.

  • I already pointed this out to John, but the problem with Health IT right now is that you are asking physicians nurses and providers to do all the data entry as we use the system. So its like asking the drivers to input all the data, speed, location, trouble spots, police, accidents, all while we are driving.

  • Happy New Year, Like WAZE updates drivers, care givers can now get continuously updated health information from anyone nearly anywhere in internet time. January brings the launch of Sensogram’s wireless wearable integrated vital signs monitor. The device, SensoSCAN, simultaneously and continuously measures Blood Pressure, Heart & Breathing Rates and SPO2. SensoSCAN uses a smart phone, tablet or home gateway to connect the person being observed with the world. No one knows what this will do for/ to Internal Medicine. Research can accelerate and new data can lead to new discoveries and correlations. Truly mHealth a very disruptive movement.

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