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Mobile Health Tools Make Big Impact

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On both sides of the Atlantic this week, two events are taking place that are shining a dazzlingly bright light on the direction we are headed as global, mobile consumers. The keynote speeches, panel discussions, and hallway conversations unmistakably indicate how growing reliance on mobile connectivity is driving innovation in ways that are shifting paradigms.

In Barcelona, the 2014 Mobile World Congress is well underway. "Creating What's Next" is the theme this year and with it comes an enthusiastic focus on the ways mobile innovators are stepping outside the box to connect all manner of devices to the wireless Internet. Across the pond, another passionate group of game changers is assembled in Orlando at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Annual Conference to discuss mobile health solutions, an energetic driver of growth in medical IT.

Not surprisingly, the melodies at HIMSS are harmonizing with those at Barcelona: wireless is a game-changer that is transforming our mobile future - how we work, live and play. And nowhere is mobile innovation more evident than in the rapid adoption of wireless technologies designed to improve health outcomes. Mobile Future and Infield Health's new infographic "Mobile Health Tools, Just What the Doctor Ordered" visually captures just how profound an impact the adoption of wireless medical technologies is having on health and wellness.

Health care providers are adopting wirelessly connected devices and applications in record numbers - from the first interaction with a patient, to administering treatment with tools tapped into wireless networks, to managing follow up care remotely. And those mobile health tools are having big impacts. When mobile health solutions send text messages to patients released from hospitals, for example, medication adherence is up 10%. Those same reminders more than double the quit rate for smokers and save $812 per diabetes patient.

The breathtaking growth and innovative uses of mobile digital health technology is astounding:

  • 247 million Americans have downloaded a health app
  • In 2013, 95 million Americans are using mobile phones as health tools
  • 77% of U.S. seniors own a cell phone and their smartphone ownership has increased 55% in the past year
  • 42% of U.S. hospitals are using digital health technology to treat patients
  • Mobile remote patient monitoring will save the U.S. $36 billion in health care costs by 2018
  • Wireless pill bottles helped increase medication compliance to over 95%
  • Mobile health is a $1.3 billion industry and by 2018 is expected to reach $20 billion

I wrote last month, recapping CES, that wearable devices are just the beginning when it comes to mobile medical tools. The cutting edge of digital health includes wireless sensors we implant and insulin monitors that report back to our doctors wirelessly. These innovative technologies, talking to each other over wireless and forming an "Internet of You," are making substantial and meaningful impacts on the mobile future of medicine.

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Mobile Future Chair Jonathan Spalter, a technology executive and former senior federal government national security official, leads a coalition of technology companies/stakeholders dedicated to increasing investment and innovation in the burgeoning U.S. wireless sector.

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