First, as I sit here in Day 2, let me say that the mHealth Summit could possibly be the best conference I’ve ever attended. I am use the the academic setting, where you have people talk at you. Here, every session, both large and small, is a panel conversation with diverse panelists and participant Q&A.
The session from “Lessons learned across the globe” was an excellent session, if you watch one session, watch this one. Here is are some thoughts put forth:
Thought 1: mhealth in the developed world is about improving the efficiency of the system. In the developing world mhealth is about improving access to health care.
Thought 2: Technology isn’t the issue in mhealth. The technology is there and it’s the simplest, cheapest $5 phone that people own. Yes, this means that smart phones are not the solution in the developing world. Even as android the prices drop below $100, this still not approachale for most people.
Thought 3: That said, the solution should be technology agnositic, with a systems approach that can utlize incoorperate the basic and smart phones for different solutions in different settings. “Let a thousand flowers bloom.”
Thought 4: Community buy-in is key. Multiple panelist have indicated the need for social science research in assessing the community needs , perceptions, values.
Thought 5: There are thousands of pilot project going on, but very few scalable and sustainable projects in mhealth. When the money runs out for these pilots, may ideas will die. This goes back to what I wrote about yesterday with mobile applications being in their infancy. It also highlights the need for an open source and open communication so work from various efforts can be built upon or combined.