May 29, 2014

How mHealth will influence the future of healthcare management?

Leaders in MI Health Forum give their view

Mobile Health Global attended the Barcelona MI Health Forum (#MIHealthForum), a meeting point of international experts where they discussed how technology will transform healthcare in the coming years. In its third year, the event gathered close to 700 professionals from clinical, management and industry sectors.

Our team attended the main sessions and spoke to leaders of prestigious healthcare organizations to find out about their vision on mHealth and whether it can speed up the change of paradigm in health management.

Gisele Roesems

Deputising Head of Unit for Health and Well-being in DG CONNECT, European Commission

European Commission main goals within mHealth are improving patient's health, optimize the performance of healthcare systems and boost this economical sector, offering opportunities for companies. We believe citizens have to lead the movement to the new model. The consultation on mHealth launched by the European Commission in April will help establish the guidelines for mHealth.

John Bingham

MD Anderson Cancer Center (@MDAndersonNews) Vicepresident and Chief Quality Officer

I see mHealth as part of the future of healthcare, with patients and doctors connected. MD Anderson Cancer Center is doing some pilots on mHealth initiatives. Our patients receive an iPad with an app that monitors their state, how they feel and how they manage their condition.

John Collins

Chief Operating Officer and Technology Implementation Director at the Center for Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology CIMIT (@CIMIT). PhD in Mechanical Engineering in Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), has more than 20 patents. 

Medicine is an art, not an exact science, for this reason doctors will be always needed. In the new scenario, the doctors role can be to inform the patient of new apps -each week new ones come up- and online resources to help manage his or her own health.

Joan Cornet (@jcornetp)

Director at mHealth Competence Center in Mobile World Capital Barcelona Foundation (@mHealthGlobal)

mHealth has amazing benefits and we are not making use of it. Genomics and Big Data are an explosive cocktail that will change dramatically the way we manage our health.

Adrian Godfrey

 mHealth GSMA (@GSMAmHealth)

mHealth will have an enormous impact in the healthcare systems. According to a PWC study on the socio-economic impact of mHealth in the European Union, mHealth will save 99 billion in healthcare spending from 2013 to 2017.

Pedro Guillén

Surgery, Orthopedics and Trauma Director in Clínica CEMTRO (@clinicaCEMTRO). Guillén was the first surgeon to broadcast an operation with Google Glass.

I accept the participation of patients in decision-making. Nevertheless, Google can either give you reasons to think you have cancer or that you haven't. Innovation is very important in healthcare and the patient has to be equidistant between both the doctor and the researcher. Innovation has to reach all patients, not just the well-off. Ordinary patients should have access to the same treatments than famous football players when they get injured.

Angelica Frithiof

Patient Advocate and Doctor - Patient Communication consultant

Health information must be in the patients hands, they must be in control. Patients have to decide whether they want support from doctors interpreting and managing this information. I believe too much information can be an obstacle because it can lead to unnecessary visits to the doctor. For example, no everyone needs to have their genome analyzed or we risk to collapsing the system. For the healthcare shift is essential that doctors change the way they see patients now, as weak and helpless persons. 

Kip Websiteb

Managing Director in Accenture Health & Public Services (@AccentureHealth)

I foresee a shift in the system in about five years, in which we will move from a sick care system to a prevention system. One of the main obstacles will be medical professional's resistance to change.

Dr. Stephen J. Swensen

Medical Director, Office of Leadership and Organization Development, Mayo Clinic (@MayoClinic), Professor in Mayo Clinic College of Medicine   

A way of engaging patients is giving them control in the management of their health. In Mayo Clinic we are using mHealth in different fields. Our doctors comment clinical cases through videoconference; we use telecare in the management of strokes. We are doing a pilot test with patients that undergo cardiac surgery. We give them an app with information about the process and they can communicate with the doctor. Patients love it, we plan to extend the initiative to other conditions in the future.

Montserrat Vendrell (@MontseVendrell)

CEO of Biocat (@Biocat_cat) and University of Barcelona Scientific Park (@UB_endirecte)

mHealth has still to prove its effectiveness, we will need a change of generation to see its full implementation. It also requires a change of mentality of the doctors in the same way journalists have done with the Internet. Medical professionals must understand that patients are now responsible for their health and they can make decisions.

Teresa Bau
Editor, Mobile Health Global