Mobile Health Market Needs New Regulatory Framework

Posted By American Med Spa Association, Monday, October 19, 2015

Mobile health (known as mHealth) technology has the power to transform the way Americans access medical care, and to radically reduce the costs of healthcare delivery. But the government is struggling to craft a regulatory framework that will ensure safety in this brave new world world of healthcare delivery.

According to a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), nearly half of patients and doctors “believe that the application of inappropriate regulations from earlier technologies is hindering the innovation of mHealth.” mHealth technology includes wearable devices, cell phone applications, remote monitoring tools, and telehealth technologies like video calling. Entrepreneurs are working to coordinate these tools to overhaul and improve patient care, but without appropriate regulations, the industry can’t accelerate as quickly as it otherwise might.

Protecting patient privacy
As technologies are developed and introduced in healthcare, entrepreneurs must find ways to integrate new tools with pre-existing ones. Encouraging “interoperability” between generations of telehealth and mHealth tools is vital for data sharing and coordination of care.

But data breaches are becoming alarmingly common, as more of our personal information becomes digitized. A bill passed in 2012, the “Healthcare Innovation and Marketplace Technologies Act,” aimed to prevent breaches of security by creating a system for government to work with entrepreneurs; it required the Department of Health and Human Services to start an mHealth developer support program to help entrepreneurs understand and comply with HIPAA laws and data privacy rules.
Read more at Nelson Hardiman.