Challenges for adoption of mobile healthcare
By Kim Seung-joon
While the marketplace moves more cautiously, innovation on the technical front is advancing at a fast pace. Stymied by a health care business model, where patients, health insurers and medical practitioners are often uncoordinated, in-home monitoring, that could threaten traditional medical institutions, are asked for proof whether it will really be medically and cost effective. In order to receive funding from health insurers, new technologies will have to show its strength in system efficiency, large scale availability and consistent reimbursement.
Also technical issues with respect to security and other regulatory standards remain unresolved. The industry’s slow progress in agreeing to standards is problematic as comprehensive solutions call for diverse systems and devices to work together to address unique and complex needs of individual patients.
Health care executives, who interviewed for an Accenture study of mobile health or “mHealth,” mentioned that while there are device class standards and end-to-end standards, there are none for Wi-Fi.
However, since 2006 Continua Health Alliance has begun to organize this market and coalesce more than 200 companies around a set of industry-selected standards with a certification program. This has currently led to three Releases of Continua guidelines and more than 40 certified product/service guidelines in the marketplace. Continua has enabled a set of personal area network standards that allow for a fixed location, mobile and high-security connectivity.
Privacy is also concern of patients and regulators. While social networking sites for medication and brands encourage users to share medical details, that disclosure is voluntary. User-managed repositories for medical records have had some success, but there are still barriers to efficient networking and health information exchange.
Mobile Health addresses flexible and well-funded solutions to these challenges, by delivering a clear and value adding care service that will soon gain regulatory improvement and market traction for improvement in health care technology.
Kim Seung-joon is a senior manager at Accenture Korea Mobility Services.