I purged one phrase from my vocabulary this year: new media (I now start with “digital”). What’s so new about 10-year-old blogs?
Now, I’m nixing another phrase and you should, too. The term is mobile health. Let’s always call the medical revolution digital health, dump the mobile and keep moving forward.
We’re days away from the Consumer Electronics Show and its accompanying Digital Health Summit. So it’s the perfect time to build consensus. I also credit this concept to Paul Sonnier and his Wireless Health LinkedIn Group, which helped gather the evidence for this change.
Digital is all encompassing: from big data to apps to electronic medical records to whatever comes next.
Digital health is not tied to platforms. Mobile health, however, is a phrase you associate primarily with phones and tablets. But soon won’t everything be mobile? In a few years virtually every medical device will have an app (maybe we can re-brand the pacemaker the Mobile Health Squared) and we could be facing the concept of “Augmented Reality Health.”
If you listen to people discuss mobile health and digital health, they are talking about the same thing. But it’s not just about semantics. It’s around mindset. People aren’t investing in or creating products that make great iPhone apps, they’re primarily seeking the best solutions to leverage data for everything from genomics to telemedicine. All of those will eventually have an app-based solution (or they may begin there), but the aim is to leverage all things D (as in data and digital).
For the moment, I’m in the minority. “Mobile health” is searched more often than “digital health,” according to the keyword research tool Wordtracker. But it’s also a muddier phrase. When people search for mobile health they’re also looking for “mobile health screenings,” health issues in Mobile, Alabama and health problems associated with mobile homes, according to my research.
Digital health is more distinct — and accurate.
[Photo from Wikipedia]