Earlier this month, industry executives and stakeholders from across the mobile health spectrum joined in Washington, D.C. for the annual mHealth Summit. Healthcare technology officials, policymakers, academic researchers and healthcare providers from across mobile and connected health came together to address health technology opportunities and define a “new role for technology that is making the pursuit of health an engaging part of everyday life.”
During panel discussions, government leaders offered insight into what their agencies are doing to promote innovation. On the heels of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT’s (ONC) release of its Federal Health IT Strategic Plan, Jodi Daniel, the agency’s director of the Office of Policy Planning, emphasized a shift in focus from electronic health records and meaningful use to how healthcare technology can be leveraged more broadly, including via mobile health (mHealth) technologies.
But with new tools and solutions, so also come new guidelines. Linda Ricci, biomedical engineer at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) weighed in on the evolution of these new regulations, noting that rather than regulate everything in the mHealth and medical device space, the agency will only apply regulatory authority to the limited set of mHealth products that pose the highest risk to patients. She added, “We also want to continue to evolve in the regulatory area so that we can make our processes more transparent and easier to follow.”
Patient engagement was once again a topic at this year’s conference, but with a greater focus on customizing health solutions around patient needs, particularly with health literacy and access. Interoperability was another concentration and industry leaders highlighted the importance of interoperable systems and devices that will further advance health IT.
CNSI has developed its own mobile tools to promote patient engagement, including the myHealthButton mobile app, which encourages connectivity between patients and providers to allow for more informed decisions and diagnoses for patients along with better quality care.
As we move towards a more digital healthcare system that promotes connectivity, it will be particularly important to focus on new tools and solutions to support these shifts.
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