mHealth Summit: Too many apps, not enough business models

By now you’ve probably read a review or two of the mHealth Summit recently held in Washington, D.C. I had the opportunity to attend once again and came away with several insights of my own. But first, a picture: This image illustrates what many of my fellow Summit attendees realized after just a few minutes […]

By now you’ve probably read a review or two of the mHealth Summit recently held in Washington, D.C. I had the opportunity to attend once again and came away with several insights of my own.

But first, a picture:

This image illustrates what many of my fellow Summit attendees realized after just a few minutes on the show floor:

  • mobile health is quickly becoming ubiquitous (some have said redundant)
  • all apps tend to blur together when developers are lumped together on a show floor
  • vendors/exhibitors have to think outside the box (sometimes in a decidedly low-tech way) to get the attention of passer by

Don’t, however, let the coming ubiquity of mobile health fool you. Just because “mobile,” or even “digital,” health might soon be deemed an overused healthcare buzz phrase, that doesn’t mean it should be discounted. I saw a lot of interest in our market research services from small companies who are hungry to learn more and eager to grow. Since most are in need of a sustainable business model, growth will likely happen either by way of outside investment or outright acquisition. These types of businesses will continue to spring up, especially as healthcare startup incubator and accelerator programs continue to proliferate. How they differentiate themselves in the marketplace and communicate tangible ROI will likely make or break their chances of exhibiting at the mHealth Summit next year.

I also noted the dearth of providers walking the show floor, a lack of attention paid to the regulatory side of diagnostics, and minimal attention paid to long-term care in the greater ecosystem of home health. Connected homes are great, but what about incorporating some of that “Internet of Everything” gadgetry into assisted living facilities and nursing homes? The “silver tsunami” already making waves on the shore of US healthcare costs strikes me as a market ripe for disruption.

All in all it was a good show. At the very least I left with a better understanding of where mobile health vendors are looking to take the industry in the next few years, and got a chance to spend one-on-one time with colleagues who might be harder to pin down at a bigger show like HIMSS. Plus, I got the chance to take a few more pictures. Enjoy.

This blog originally appeared on PorterResearch.com.

This post appears through the MedCity Influencers program. Anyone can publish their perspective on business and innovation in healthcare on MedCity News through MedCity Influencers. Click here to find out how.