Many people see wirelessly enabled health as the answer to the myriad of problems in the healthcare industry today. According to Robert B. McCray, the president and CEO of the Wireless-Life Sciences Alliance, wireless health will translate into affordable access to healthcare.
As McCray sees it, there are five key drivers in the pending transformation. The first of these drivers is consumer demand, which is growing; with self-pay as the “dominant business model” in the developing world.
The second, he says, is affordable distribution, which is amply provided for by what he calls the “largest distribution channel for digital information ever created”, cell phones.
The third is free information; wireless health information will not only enable free diagnosis of a majority of human diseases, but it will also make the diagnosis of more complex conditions more efficient and free up resources for therapeutic purposes.
The fourth driving factor is putting knowledge in the hands of innovators and purchases, disrupting “entrenched economic interests”. The fifth and final driver he named is social media; communication and community building through such media, as PatientsLikeMe, has already positively affected healthcare.
McCray asserts that all of these tools will empower individuals, which is “critically important”, as “a large portion of our healthcare costs are driven by excess demand, which could be reduced if individuals, families, communities, business, and societies had easy access to information, products, services, and applications that coax them to make better lifestyle choices and decline wasteful services.”
mHealth is certain to disrupt a lot of existing systems, and right now, affordable and efficient healthcare may seem like a fantasy, but as these five factors put serious force behind the movement, it may become a reality sooner than most might imagine. Without it, McCray says, “the world’s populations will be poorer and sicker.”
Edited by Brooke Neuman