mHealth Summit 2011:Views from an Attendee

     This being my first mHealth Summit, I did not know what to expect.  My hopes were to firstly meet personally the many colleagues I’ve met via social media and put a face to many rewarding conversations.  My expectation of experiencing firsthand new technologies and gaining insight into what the immediate and long-term future is from others’ perspectives was met.

I was impressed with the range of background of the participants.  Innovators came from industry and academia.  There were patient advocates, government regulators, and entrepreneurs.  The keynote addresses came from telecom industry executives, mHealth organizations, the Surgeon general, Dr. Eric Topol, and government representatives (the FCC, the Surgeon General, the secretary of HHS).

I was disappointed in that some of the session talks did not follow the session subject titles; however, the quality of presentations was excellent.  The organization of the various session tracks was superb (business, technical, research) and aided scheduling.  I would look forward to next year’s Summit providing a clinical track targeted at healthcare providers.  There seemed to be few clinicians present based on informal polling at the sessions, even the clinical ones. Education about mHealth to the medical community will facilitate greater attendance by clinical researchers and healthcare providers. Hopefully initiatives by large corporations will help in this regard.  The international presence of both presenters and attendees added valuable perspective.

The exhibitor area afforded excellent networking opportunities. Finally interacting face to face with colleagues and friends that I have made was the most enjoyable and rewarding part of the conference.  Spending significant time discussing important issues and putting them into perspective was inspiring. The start-up pavilion was an excellent idea.

This Summit presented a preaching to the choir atmosphere, which was both inspiring and somewhat disappointing to me and others.  A bit more controversy or emphasis on barriers and challenges would have been more helpful for the focus of future objectives by attendees.

Socializing with both known and new colleagues was enjoyable and priceless. I congratulate the organizers of  mHealth Summit 2011 for an incredible job.  Though it was the third annual conference, one got the feeling that it was the one that seals the identity of the industry and the conference. I’m envisioning this conference in a few years needing to be held in a much larger facility, and garnering network news attention.

About davidleescher

David Lee Scher, MD is Founder and Director at DLS HEALTHCARE CONSULTING, LLC, which specializes in advising digital health technology companies, their partners, investors, and clients. As a cardiac electrophysiologist and pioneer adopter of remote patient monitoring, he understood early on the challenges that the culture and landscape of healthcare present to the development and adoption of digital technologies. He is a well-respected thought leader in mobile and other digital health technologies. Scher lectures worldwide on relevant industry topics including the role of tech in Pharma, patient advocacy, standards for development and adoption, and impact on patients and healthcare systems from clinical, risk management, operational and marketing standpoints. He is a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at Penn State College of Medicine.
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