Health IT

America, the land of mhealth opportunity (video)

The American mobile health app landscape is perceived as an open market for innovation. Yet the lack of any particular oversight or regulation specific to mobile health means there is a wide variety of apps on the market that swing from FDA approved medical devices to apps that make unproven medical claims. But as so […]

The American mobile health app landscape is perceived as an open market for innovation. Yet the lack of any particular oversight or regulation specific to mobile health means there is a wide variety of apps on the market that swing from FDA approved medical devices to apps that make unproven medical claims.

But as so often happens in the early days of many industries, the ones that distinguish themselves by filling an unmet or inadequately addressed need or can be adapted to disparate systems, find a home and are widely used.

There is also unprecedented funding for health IT initiatives by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Those are among the reasons why Toronto-based mhealth company Memotext focused on patient adherence for providers and pharmaceutical companies sees compelling opportunities in the U.S.

“It is, for us, more of an open market in terms of adopting innovation and technology into healthcare. …We can get further into an organization faster because things like innovation are funded in the U.S. There’s more of a realization that there has to be a five-year plan or three-year plan or seven-year plan to look at things like compatible care, to look at things like star ratings, to look at things like actually devoting resources to issues like patient adherence, medication compliance and mhealth.”

Part of Memotext’s system involves interactive phone calls. Patients are asked questions designed to determine their state of mind and why they may have missed a prescribed dose. Interactive media are tailored to each patient’s needs and to help them develop a better understanding of their condition, and change their behavior to improve adherence. Patients are also directed to live healthcare professionals and can choose the way they are contacted, according to their needs.

A recent report sizing up the adherence issue estimated it costs $188 billion in lost U.S. revenue and $564 billion worldwide.

The company was one of 12 pitching at the fourth annual Canadian eHealth Innovation Summit at the University City Science Center in Philadelphia this week. The Canadian Consulate is selecting up to six of these companies to join a health IT accelerator it is launching at the Science Center next year.

[Photo from Flickr user WoodleyWonderWorks]