While mHealth and wellness applications may appear to be interchangeable concepts, there are key differences in how they affect the life of the user as well as the business success of their providers. If your doctor advises you to begin a walking regimen for better health, you might choose to track your steps with a device to keep track of your progress. If the device and applications keep the data siloed with the individual, it would be considered a wellness product (e.g. activity trackers such as a FitBit or Jawbone. or diet apps like Lose It).
If the collected data was transmitted to your doctor directly or added to your medical record, it would be considered amobile health (mHealth) product. mHealth apps may help individuals track fitness, but the extra step of transmission to a third party like your life partner, children or Health Care Provider (HCP) is a critical differentiator and a potential marker for long-term viability of the product.
The widening gap between “wellness” (self-directed actions aimed at preventing illness) and “mHealth” (technology-based applications that allow a patient and a HCP to clinically interact from different locations) is dramatically impacting how startups, investors, healthcare professionals, and patients approach the joining of health and technology.Read more