Mobile Health (mHealth) - Establishing an OSEHRA mHealth Working Group

I would like to propose that an OSEHRA  mHealth Working Group be established as soon as possible. It may already be in the works, for all I know.

There are already well over 4 billion mobile devices in use around the world and the numbers are only growing. In the coming decade, mobile health (mHealth) will dramatically change the daily clinical practices of many health care providers and the lives of their patients. The mHealth app market currently is worth about $718 million and is expected to double to $1.3 billion by the end of 2012, according to Research2Guidance. Innovative mHealth projects utilizing mobile phones and other wireless and hand held devices are powering the collection and use of health information to diagnose, treat, and educate people in even the most remote corners of the world. This also holds true for the providers, patients and their family members treated by the VA, DoD, IHS, and the rest of the VistA & OSEHRA community.

There are already sources of mHealth Apps out there for almost any type of device you can think of, including mHealth apps being distributed by NIH, NLM, and USA.Gov  But I could only find a small handfull of mHealth apps specific to VA and DoD. 

There are a growing number of mHealth software development tools now available. The community needs to investigate these and make some recommendations on which ones may be the best for the community.  For example, check out -

* Read more about other open source Mobile App Development Tools like RhoMobile, WidgetPad, MoSync, etc.  as well as mHealth news sites and mHealth organizations at COSI Open Health.

I believe in his presentation at the OSEHRA Summit, Col. (Ret.) Hon Pak mentioned that Diversinet is planning on making a lite 'open source' version of their mHealth development platform available shortly. It is just one of the tools that needs to be looked at. Given that it's DIACAP certified by DoD as a secure mHealth platform, it might be worth looking at.

In addition to establishing the mHealth Working Group, OSEHRA should be planning to establish an mHealth App Store by early next year to house the many open source mHealth development tools and apps that will emerge fairly rapidly. 






good idea, but maybe a broader perspective is needed?

Tom Munnecke's picture

Here is a conversation I had last spring with Deborah Estrin of UCLA, who has proposed an Open mHealth Ecosystem.

And, continuing the west coast news on the subject, Eric Topol (Creative Destruction of Medicine) has split from what used to be called West Wireless to focus more directly on wireless stuff while West Wireless has renamed itself West Health San Diego wireless technology company Qualcomm is putting a lot of resources into this field.

I guess my concern is that folks are trying to use a single communications channel (or family of wireless communications), as a stack of services, rather than just a layer in a broader scheme of things.  Does it really matter if my bathroom scale is wireless, wired, manual, talking, or printing, or gasp, one of those antique manual  balance beams?  The obesity epidemic is not caused by a lack of scales; just making them wireless isn't going to make much of a difference.  Just adding a bunch of new devices might just be an exercise in gadgeteering, not health improvement.

Perhaps a broader perspective would be to look at health informatics architecture as a "design from a state of connectivity." - assuming that we have continuous, ubiquitous connectivity as a rule, with fallback to snail mail and phone calls as the exception.  This would look like a large scale information space of fine-grained information objects, whose privacy and security are properties of the individual objects, not the enterprises warehousing the information or "capturing the lives" of customers.

Quantified Self movement, Patients Like Me, Cure Together, Genomera are a few of the activities/companies that are lead in this direction.

There is a tectonic shift associated with this new technology.  The enterprise-centric, top-down, hierarchical focus of much of the EHR market (and epitomized by IEHR) is wildly different than the personal, peer to peer, network-based models that are exploding in otther areas.  Witness what WIkipedia did to the Encyclopedia Industry, Craigslist did to newspapers' classified advertising, Amazon did to the book stores, etc.

"Personalization" seems to capture what I'm thinking about...





OSEHRA mHealth Working

Joy Bolt's picture

OSEHRA  mHealth Working Group should  be established as soon as possible as is related with the health millions of people using poratble devices and the number going to increase in the coming years!!!



Technology in Health care

Amber Morgan's picture

During any emergency situation we need the help of mobile and other communicating technology; to need enough care service in a very quick time period. Therefore here we have found that how OSEHRA brings mobile technology (mHealth) to establish a better health network; mobile technology are plays a vital role in providing health and medical care facilities in various regions at a quick note.