Next week, thousands of people will attend this year's mHealth Summit in Washington, D.C., and you can expect to see yours truly front and center.
While I attended these in the past, and have been cynical about the actual impact and use of all the Star Wars type products and services on exhibit, I am beginning to see some adoption by the medical community at large.
Some, but not a lot. The introduction of new health care technology still seems to be far outpacing the actual use by health care institutions, doctors and patients. It would be really great if this year's event could find a way to close the gap - showing more of a direct link between people and the benefits technology can deliver.
Again, the big names will exhibit some of the more accepted health care technologies, those that offer monitoring services or reminders of when to take medication.
There will also be smaller more innovative start-up companies whose products and services will either make their way into mainstream health care, fall by the wayside for lack of funding or serving a niche market, or get gobbled up by one of the larger companies (good for them!) that want to add it into their overall health care offering.
I've always believed that technology should offer a solution to a problem. Introducing technology for technology's sake gets you no more than Andy Warhol's oft mentioned "15 minutes of fame."
Unlike other industries that have a 'rise and fall' effect of products and services, health care is forever, and those offering usable solutions can reap the benefits...along with patients. For example, ABI Research recently stated that it expected the mobile health application market to grow to more than $400 million by 2016.
So the companies will open their booths and people will stroll through the exhibits. They will watch in amazement at the magical solutions on hand and then wonder when and if they will be available to the general public. It will be a familiar scene but one that will hopefully end with many of these health care solutions becoming available to people in the coming year.
For me, I will visit as many of the exhibits as possible and provide an overview of the companies and their products in the weeks to come.
Stay tuned . . .