Why we’re more likely to drop the “Health” than the “m” in mHealth
I noted recently a comment from Axel Nemetz, Head of Health at Vodafone, outlining how Vodafone is looking to take mHealth mainstream so we can “drop the ‘m’ in mHealth”. The situation is of course more dire at Telefonica/O2 where they’re under the impression that mHealth is just a buzzword…
With mHealth being at the centre of a convergence of two distinct trillion dollar industries (Mobile and Healthcare) it’s clear that while it might be creating a storm it’s not one that’s always obvious even to those right in the middle.
Thankfully a post today from Tomi Ahonen, the worlds most published mobile industry author and the individual who first explained why mobile was the 7th mass media (back in 2007), has helped me put down some more thoughts about why it’s very unlikely anyone’s going to be dropping the m anytime soon:
“As I have been arguing for a decade… …mobile phones will cannibalize all that is pocketable and digital, more recently I have summarized it to this formula: Mobile + Anything = Mobile
…so initially it was a ‘musicphone’ now all mobile phones have music. So originallly Mobile + Music became just Mobile. Or the camera. Early on it was a curiosity and not all phones, not even all premium phones (remember early Blackberries) did not have cameras. Mobile + Camera became just Mobile. Today almost every phone has an inbuilt camera of some sorts, most have two. And so forth. Mobile plus anything becomes soon just mobile”
In the future when mHealth is mainstream and you ask a patient what what they are doing:
> when they get a SMS reminding them of an available appointment
> when they make a call to 911/112 and share their GPS so the operator doesn’t need to ask where they are
They won’t reply that they’re “engaging with the Healthcare system” they’ll be more likely to say “oh I’m just using my Mobile”.
PS. Don’t underestimate the amount of time the “adoption” phase will take… mHealth is setting incredible new records but it still took over a decade and billions of $’s of federal government funds to get to a stage where 17% of U.S. physicians and less than 10% of U.S. hospitals had implemented a basic electronic health record system.