Behavior change: Holy Grail for mobile health

by Taylor Walsh on December 10, 2013

in Apps,Blog,Digital Media,Fitness,Lifestyle,Social Media,Telemedicine,Wellness

Since I didn’t make it across town to National Harbor for the mHealth Summit@mHealthSummit — I did track a few tweets coming out of the event. Here is a summary, with comments.

The mobile technology community might want to re-think who will be able to change what when it comes to behavior. And as the influential mHealthSummit speaker Esther Dyson ( @edyson ) noted, change itself can’t be the end-all:

The problem with even those health and fitness apps and other digital and mobile tools that hold the most promise for encouraging people to adopt different lifestyle patterns is that their creators can only hold out a potential benefit, one that might be attainable: if … If consumers, patients, their medical professionals, and wellness providers make use of them in the first place. And many kinds of behaviors will have to change to bring about those good outcomes. There is unlikely to be an all-in-one app for that.

More from the day’s tweet stream:

These don’t reflect focus on integrative health and medicine, per se, but do set out factors either in place or moving into places where all health and wellness experiences will be delivered and experienced in the years ahead. The relationships altered by mobile connectivity will surely undergo serious disruption.

Just more data points, growing inevitably like kudzu along the Beltway sound-barrier walls encircling Washington. Susannah can also tell you how many people use these devices to obtain health information and services, and to connect with other people in what she calls “Peer-to-Peer Healthcare.” See her Pew Research report “Health Online 2013.”

@EricDishman is a senior researcher at Intel. Here is his April 2013 TED Talk: “Healthcare should be a team sport.” A recent article from Health Facilities Management magazine describes how the impact of the Affordable Care Act is influencing construction decisions.

If not obsolete, then perhaps transformed, into “a center for health and wellness in the community,” as envisioned by Gerard Van Grinsven when he was CEO at West Bloomfield, MI hospital and seriously re-organized his enterprise to be more “customer-focused,” which I wrote about here.

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