Irrational euphoria over mobile health

KEY TAKEAWAY: [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]Tech mania is resurgent when it comes to mobile health[/inlinetweet]. Investors are again, glancing at a clock with no hands — and dismissing the risk.  Nobody wants to be left behind in case the next “facebook” of health should appear, but the recent sale of WebMD should be a warning that there is a lot of money to be lost in the mobile health market.

The Internet is a great place to fan the flames of hype.  Mobile health startups are everywhere and they are getting a lot of money from investors who don’t want to miss the boat just in case they strike gold.   But this is all just speculation.

[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]Patients are sick and tired of having to make an appointment to get, what they feel, is routine health maintenance[/inlinetweet].  Let’s face it, if you have the flu the last thing you want to leave the house to ask your doctor for an Rx. However, a lot of doctors have brought this on themselves.

Millennials, now the biggest demographic segment, think of healthcare the same way they think of going to the market: go in, walk out with a product (Rx). [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]Too many physicians have become accustomed to treating the condition rather than the patient [/inlinetweet]and this has led to patients wanting and needing a better solution than making an appointment and waiting to be seen by a HCP. However, the healthcare industry is fighting back and trying to get better.

There’s a good chance that you received a text or an email from your doctor after your last visit to rate your experience.  They are trying to be more patient focused and encourage feedback from patients in a competitive market where patients re becoming more empowered.

But what about mobile health?[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””] Should a doctor, you don’t know and who doesn’t know you, really recommend treatment options?[/inlinetweet]  Maybe for some conditions, but the doctor’s I have talked with are largely against it because of potential legal and reimbursement issues.  What happens, for example, if someone who is complaining about a chest cold really has pneumonia?

[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]Patient’s believe the whole process of making an appointment, waiting for the doctor and then going to the drug store to get an Rx is a pain in the ass in a time compressed economy.[/inlinetweet] I think there is room for some type of mobile health, but before anyone starts shoveling money into all these startups they had better ask “have you checked with patients first?”