mHealth Summit 2014 Highlights

We’re wrapping up in Washington, DC at the 2014 mHealth Summit. We’ve seen some thought-provoking presentations and demonstrations by healthcare leaders who are passionate and committed to improving the quality and continuum of care. We’ve listened in on some truly inspiring discussions about the mobile health industry’s projections for the future and expert insights on steps we need to take to reach optimal growth and innovation. Take a look at some key highlights.

News: Remote Care Reimbursement

Starting January 2015, the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will begin providing reimbursement for care that patients receive outside the doctor’s office or hospital system. Healthcare practitioners will receive a flat reimbursement rate of $40.39 per patient per month. Over the course of the year, total reimbursement is projected at $16 billion. This is great news for the remote care industry, providing opportunities for growth to give patients the care they need while adapting to shifts in the healthcare landscape.

The Importance of Startups

Wendy Mayer, Pfizer’s Vice President of Worldwide Innovation, discussed on Monday the innovation of Israel’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. The country is well-known for its booming and dynamic tech startup environment. Mayer emphasized the efficacy of this startup ecosystem and the importance of adopting a similar system for optimal growth of the U.S.’s healthcare system. Startups offer a unique energy, drive, and inspiration that the health industry currently lacks. In the words of Harry Leider, Chief Medical Officer and Group Vice President of Walgreens: “It's a great time to be in healthcare. It's a great time to innovate. Only partnerships will make this all work.”

Open Innovation

Wendy Mayer also gave some inspiring insight on leveraging social entrepreneurship to create value and engagement. Pfizer developed “open innovation” platforms to enable collaboration and the development of solutions among all parties – researchers, suppliers, patients, and customers. The result: the ability to spark conversation and understanding within the healthcare community. Mark Smith, the Director of MedStar Health’s Institute for Innovation (MI2), said: “If we are going to remake healthcare, we have to leverage the forces of innovation through social entrepreneurship.”

Healthcare Meets Behavioral Science

Joseph Kvedar, Partners Health’s Director of the Center for Connected Health, stressed the importance of finding ways to truly relate and connect with the public. He advised us to “Create subconscious triggers. Get into the consumer’s current path and fit in there.” A great way to ensure that your brand is psychologically aligned with your consumers is to have a behavioral scientist on the development and analysis team. This layer of expertise allows opportunities to truly connect and break through the healthcare haze.

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