Toward an mHealth and Wireless Health Consumer Movement
I sent the following announcement to 4,600+ Wireless Health LinkedIn Group Members on Jan 06, 2011:
Dear Wireless Health Group Members,
Thank you for your responses regarding whether or not to pursue the new open group option. The majority opinion is that reaching a wider audience with the mHealth and wireless health message is highly desirable. And I agree that the best way to accelerate the growth of our industry is by doing everything possible to reach and educate all constituencies – particularly consumers – to the panoply of mHealth solutions and their many benefits.
Given that the free flow of information and value-added discussion of the type that occurs in the Wireless Health group is essential to achieving this objective, I am compelled to open things up for viewing by anyone, indexing by search engines, and easier sharing of discussions via shortened hyperlinks, Twitter, and Facebook. Contributions to the group, however, will continue to be a privilege available only to members.
Moreover, with all of us sharing the objective to accelerate the commercialization and adoption of mHealth and wireless health solutions, I believe the biggest opportunity and challenge remains consumer education and inculcation. To this end, I think it would be worthwhile to complement all of the significant industry and government efforts by also working to foster a consumer mHealth movement. For reference, one successful example of this occurring in another industry is the organic movement, which realized rapid growth due to the mutually reinforcing efforts of industry and consumers.
Social media, as we’re all aware, is a powerful way to reach and engage both professionals and consumers. LinkedIn, of course, is a professional networking site, with about 85 million users. And Facebook, a social media platform primarily aimed at consumers, now has over 500 million users, 200 million of whom are utilizing mobile means of access.
Obviously, the new open group option will facilitate utilization of both LinkedIn and Facebook to reach consumers for the purpose of fostering a consumer mHealth movement. To this end, I have previously created two groups, “mHealth” and “Wireless Health” (pick your flavor), which I suggest we should use as a medium for reaching out to consumers, branding mHealth, and communicating to them the overarching message that mHealth is a burgeoning revolution empowering them to better manage and improve their own health and that of their loved ones, live fuller lives, and reduce household expenditures. Concomitant to that core message is reinforcement that mHealth is improving the efficiency and effectiveness of clinical healthcare delivery while, paradoxically, reducing costs in our healthcare systems.
I believe that if all constituencies (i.e. companies, industry groups, governments, NGOs, professionals, and consumers) were to make a concerted effort in this regard, we could initiate and foster a consumer movement reinforcing the efforts of industry. In my opinion, this is the missing catalyst required to accelerate realization of the full potential of mHealth and wireless health.
Founder, Wireless Health group on LinkedIn
Links and References:
mHealth group on Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=113741791998505 (full url)
http://tinyurl.com/fbmhealth (tiny url)
Wireless Health group on Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=121865821158462 (full url)
http://tinyurl.com/fbwirelesshealth (tiny url)
Hyperlink to this announcement on The Wireless Health Blog: https://wirelesshealth.wordpress.com/2011/01/04/toward-an-mhealth-and-wireless-health-consumer-movement
Organic Movement: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organic_movement
The Nineties in America Organic Food Movement: http://salempress.com/store/samples/nineties_in_america/nineties_in_america_organic.htm
Update (Jan 8, 2011): I created a fan page on Facebook called “mHealth Fan”: http://tinyurl.com/mhealthfan