Commentary: Is mHealth Bound For Same Ambiguous Fate As Health IT?

Tom Sullivan | Government Health IT | December 2, 2013

Deep in the back offices of Silicon Valley startups and stalwarts, you won’t commonly encounter phrases like "automotive IT" or "plastic injection molding IT" – yet all through the healthcare industry, such vague-almost-to-the-point-of-confusing terms pepper the conversation.

The most egregious example, indeed, is "health IT". Is health IT just an EHR or even the market brimming with so many electronic health records systems and modules? No. Realistically, health IT comprises any number of the technologies, whether it’s low-cost practice management services in the cloud or big, iron-bound database management systems that huge health networks plunk down tens of millions of dollars to acquire and run themselves.

Every day we talk about health IT almost as if it is one single simple solution, rather than all the technologies taken together that a hospital needs to survive, if not thrive.

Is mHealth destined for the same ambiguous fate?