I'm in DC for IHE meetings Tuesday and Wednesday, and giving a session at the 2012 mHealthSummit Wednesday afternoon on Trends on Mobile Interoperability and Standards. I scheduled my travel to attend the IHE educational session held on Monday, but decided to take advantage of by mHealthSummit badge to take look at the conference instead. I can listen to Charles talk about XDW any day of the week, after all, I work with him.
The keynote presentation was kicked off by Steve Lieber of HIMSS. HIMSS acquired the summit from The Foundation for the National Institutes of Health early this year, so having Steve Lieber give the opening remarks made sense. Following him were Mark Bertolini of Aetna and then Harry Totonis of SureScripts. Frankly, both speakers were good, but they also spent so much time patting themselves on the back that I thought they were going to break their arms. Next year I hope we see Keynote speakers that are more innovative in this space.
Mr. Bertolini had quite a bit to say about Aetna's efforts on their CarePass™ Application Platform. He touted the fact that it is freely available and therefore "non-proprietary". It's a good thing they don't let the audience ask questions of the keynote speakers, because I'd have had one about where he got his definition of non-proprietary from (not protected by trademark or copyright). Then again, standards aren't his business, so maybe I need to give him a break.
I suppose too, that I also need to give Mr. Totonis a break for bringing up the inevitable comparison to the financial industry, as that reflects his prior business experience. I've heard this comparison far too often. He talked quite a bit about how many transactions that SureScripts does, and how it has saved tons of money for prescribers and pharmacies, and improved health. My challenge here is what this has to do with mHealth. mHealth is, after all, the use of mobile technology to deliver healthcare services. While I can see the CarePass connection, I was a little lost on what SureScripts had to deliver for mHealth.
The exhibit floor took up about an acre. I made my first visit to booth #1224 to see Regina Holliday live painting jackets for The Walking Gallery. Unfortunately, she was still caught in DC traffic, so we connected up later.
The exhibit floor was an interesting collection of vendors and exhibitors. It included:
- Startups so raw they had the smallest space possible, no fancy graphics and one or two people hawking their concept,
- Consultants on registering medical devices with the FDA,
- Educational institutions doing mHealth research,
- Organizations making any sort of small, wireless devices,
- Consumer facing device manufacturers,
- Companies pitching mobile app development frameworks,
- Companies pitching mobile app development,
- Organizations pitching their "open source platforms" for mobile apps,
- So many organizations pitching their "HIPAA compliant" secure messaging solutions that I later just had to tweet: "Until providers understand that HIPAA compliance is a property of an organization, not a product, we won't have adequate security"
- Almost anything medical with a wireless radio,
- Wireless radios (designed for the healthcare environment),
- Security and provisioning solutions for wireless environments, devices ... (see HIPAA Compliant discussion above).
- Disease specific programs that used SMS texting, apps, tablets, or anything with a wireless radio,
- At least two mHealth vendor association wannabees,
I dropped by the IHE Interoperability Showcase, but couldn't stay through a demo (I had to run off to an HL7 call). I did catch up with some of my IHE buddies, and they have an exciting announcement that I'll talk about later this week.