The Future Of Population Health Is Mobile

The statistic that I like to point out is that more people have access to mobile devices than people who have access to toothbrushes. I know that sounds crazy to us Americans, but that’s apparently a global reality (in so much as statistics don’t lie). And, people seem lost without their smartphones so they have them within a few feet of them almost 24 hours a day.

Combine that with several trends, and you can begin to understand why Qualcomm Life predicts that by 2020 there will be 160 million Americans who will be monitored and treated for medical conditions remotely.

  1. There will be a shortage of doctors (at least in certain geographies).
  2. Technology continues to be more and more ubiquitous. (Just look at this amazing video)
  3. Telemedicine is becoming more normal.
  4. Big data continues to be a huge focus with lower data costs, greater integration, and ultimately more and more predictive models to interpret real-time data.

So, as I pointed out the other day about the value of the mobile data for a healthcare underwriter, that same data can be used to create a systemic intervention system for monitoring and intervening with consumers to drive behavior change. AND, since the data and delivery method is mobile, the interventions can be highly personalized based on when, how, what channel, etc. to improve engagement rates. I can even know who influences your behavior change and how to get them to encourage you to change behavior (peer pressure) or who you monitor and can influence you based on their recommendations.

I’m not sure I’m ready to go as far as Dr. Ron Loeppke from US Preventative Medicine who said

“These mobile apps that are emerging are going to be a predominant part of how health care is delivered going forward.” (Smartphones Take Wellness Engagement To New Levels by Elizabeth Galentine)

BUT, I do believe that over time that this will become the increasingly dominant channel for interventions and behavior change. Ultimately, your mobile phone number may be a more valued data point than your Social Security number.

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