‘Epic Innovation’ Predicted in Health and Wellness


Yesterday, MobiHealth News ran an article quoting StartUp Health co-founder Unity Stoakes as saying:

“ ‘There’s never been a more interesting time to invest in health and wellness…[H]ealthcare is being completely reimagined. We are at the beginning of what we believe will be an epic decade of innovation and progress.’ ”

After the excitement of last week’s Mobile Health Summit, I would have to agree. Much of the conference focused on how mobile technology can operate in the current clinical model, which is heavily focused on treatment and disease management and stuck in a fee-for-service model. But I also heard snatches of more forward-thinking and exciting dialogue around preventive care, wellness, and patient empowerment.


At the session, “Care Models in Motion: Challenges, Disruptions & Innovations,” Don Jones of QualComm Life led a discussion about the future of ‘app prescribing’ and how mobile apps, devices, and drugs or therapies could be used in concert.


Scott Peterson of Verizon immediately pointed to the need to reimagine the paradigm to focus more on preventive health and wellness. “The model has to change from diagnosis and treat …to live your life and be well,” Peterson said.


I wanted to jump up in my chair and applaud.


Scott Ratzan of Johnson & Johnson when on to say that the app of the future will be one that allows people to track and gauge their health, makes positive health changes in their lives before they get sick, and reinforces and rewards these choices. Ratzan pointed to Johnson & Johnson’s digital health scorecard as one example of this type of tool.


This is exactly the type of thinking behind Tech urSelf and the mobile app, urWell, which seeks to use smartphones to empower people to make affirmative life choices that help them be happier and healthier. Although many conversations on mobile health still focus on the role of technology in a treatment-focused clinical world, the conversation is shifting to examine how technology can also promote wellness and healthy lifestyle choices.


With healthcare costs skyrocketing, it is has become undeniable that we have to do more in the wellness sphere. Jonah Comstock of MobiHealth News also writes, “employers [too] are changing their health priorities to focus on prevention, fitness, and wellness to drive down eventual health costs.”


With  ‘epic innovation’ coming and coming fast in the mobile health world, and to healthcare in general, I think a big part of this innovation needs to center on how mobile technologies can help us in change our lifestyles to be happier and healthier rather than just assuming ill health is a way of life.


This blog was originally published on the Tech urSelf blog