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Good news for mHealth

good news for mhealth digital healthI’m a keen follower of news relating to mHealth and digital health, and the last week or so brought some very exciting news.

Breaking news

A few weeks ago I wrote about the huge communications gap surrounding mHealth, and pointing out that mHealth could never enter the mainstream consciousness unless it was featured in mainstream media. Well it seems like my wish came true rather quicker than I expected:

  • On 13 July the Guardian featured an article in its business section discussing the DALLAS programme (Delivering Assisted Living Lifestyles At Scale, rather than the Texan soap opera) and how technology in the home could help to support the health and care needs of an ageing population. It was balanced and accurate, which is all you can ask for.
  • On 21 July the BBC breakfast news featured a piece on the introduction of wireless vital signs monitoring via a smart patch to UK hospitals (I found a clip of it on YouTube when I looked today). It was rather a pity that their interviewee was a lady from a patient campaign group rather than a clinician or technology expert who could have explained the benefits. The poor lady could hardly be blamed for not knowing that this type of technology has been tested, approved and used widely in the US for some time, but nonetheless it felt like a breakthough to see mHealth technology covered on this programme, which is a barometer for popular issues.
  • Finally on 23 July the Financial Times did an excellent special report under the heading ‘The Connected Business’ which provided a fantastic round-up of a number of key topics around digital health, including the role of apps, big data, privacy, growth of connected medical devices and DNA sequencing inter alia. I urge you to track this supplement down if you can as it was extremely well-written and researched.

The media is the message

However, for all the useful content and generally positive newsflow, what was really notable here was that mHealth was the news in a number of mainstream media channels. This felt like a massive change on this side of the Atlantic, although of course in the US digital health advocates such as Dr Eric Topol and Dr Leslie Saxon have featured on mainstream media for some time. Let’s just say I’m even more confident now that we’re making real progress, and I do trust the ability of a wider audience to spot the benefits of mHealth and start demanding it.

So thank you to the Guardian, BBC and FT. Let’s have more of this please. Do let me know if you’ve seen other examples of coverage in mainstream media – or you can always contact me.

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