3 Integration Hurdles Mobile Devices Face (And How Apple May Help)

Eric Wicklund | mHealth Summit | September 22, 2014

The recent – and rather breathlessly reported - unveiling of the Apple Watch has many in the mHealth space wondering whether the final bridge is being crossed to patient engagement. Finally, a mobile healthcare platform that both the doctor and the consumer can share and appreciate.  Not so fast.

Despite the apparent uptake in consumer interest, the healthcare community has been slow to embrace wearable health and fitness monitors. And while the Apple watch and its accompanying HealthKit platform (once the bugs are worked out) might be just what the doctor ordered, Tom Heatherington, Accenture's managing director of digital strategy, says there are three key challenges that the industry will have to overcome to prove – wait for it – meaningful use.

1. Integration. Wearable health and fitness monitors may look great and offer just what the connected consumer wants, but they don't integrate with the infrastructure already in place. "Payers and providers to date have not taken advantage of personal monitoring devices," Heatherington says, because they aren't fitting into anyone's workflow and they aren't presenting clinical data that either can use. At the moment, he says, there aren't any "analytical layers necessary to derive value from this information."...