Meditation apps for cognitive health?

by Taylor Walsh on December 9, 2013

in Apps,Digital Media,Mobile,Wellness

@mhealthsummit Day One in Washington

mHealth_logoApparently the mobile wing of the health care tech industry feels impervious to the wrenching politics going on elsewhere in the Capital over the very-less-than mobile and sputtering web site. Instead, attendees and Twitter observers of the 5th annual Mobile Health Summit have been churning out an incessant flow of tweets through the hashtag #mhealth13

80 billion downloads? A number comprehensible only to the analytic software gremlins at work in The Cloud. Presumably they are able to provide some interpretation, categorization and definition of what people are actually looking for.

As always during tweet chats following tech events like this, few refer to or overlap with integrative health territory. But tweets focused on integrative approaches do appear within the broadest definition of “integrative” topics, from fitness to meditation and nutrition. And we now see growing references to the importance of establishing optimal health in the first case. At the mHealth Summit two important health technology thought leaders emphasized this trend.

Esther Dyson and Steve Case

Steve Case, right, former head of AOL and founder of Revolution Health (now part of Everyday Health) joined Esther Dyson for an opening Q&A. Case, who made online “community” real in the early information-heavy online world, was succinct in his comments:

The best way to change the trajectory of #healthcare is to focus on prevention and wellness – @SteveCase #mHealth13

Dyson ( @edyson ), a leading digital entrepreneur and investor is also deeply prevention-centric. At another DC conference last week on innovation she intoned, “We don’t need no stinkin’ health care!” Emphasis on care. Her solution — a regional and investor-driven wellness business model — is at

More from the day’s tweet stream

Bonnie Feldman writes on her blog in preparation for this presentation: “I am wondering if meditation, like gaming, will become a driver of wider acceptance of mind-training interventions for cognitive wellness.”

The use of computer gaming design approaches — with their addictive attributes perhaps — has become an intriguing format for health application developers. Just the concept has potential worth pondering as a way for creating community-shared (if not created) self-care techniques and experiences.

For almost 10 years, Pew Research has been plumbing the online behaviors of people who use the Internet for information and for “peer-to-peer” connectivity. Perhaps this research has been the only way to highlight this essential, if elusive, quality of care. Susannah is Pew’s leading researcher on consumer use of the web. Telehealth has been shown to be an effective path for online support group members. Research by Samueli Institute has reported effective use of telehealth applications for military health patients dealing with PTSD issues.

This is potentially important because Nuance Health has a relationship with Hospital Corporation of America, which operates hospitals and surgical centers in 20 states (and the UK). Nuance says this is the first of a family with a new “’empowered patient’ clinical focus.”

Other tags mentioned in the #mhealth13 flow worth following:

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