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Readers Write: My First Experience at the mHealth Summit

December 16, 2013 Readers Write No Comments

My First Experience at the mHealth Summit
By Kevin Lasser

12-16-2013 7-08-54 AM

I was inspired by Mr. H’s comments regarding his experience at the fifth annual mHealth Summit. So much so that I want to share my experiences from a little different vantage point.

I was kindly invited to not only speak on the topic of return on investment,  but also to talk to the press about my participation in mHIMSS Roadmap V2.0. Honestly, I am not sure I would have gone otherwise, but I am happy I went. Here are my thoughts.

Exhibit Hall

It was filled with very large and small companies with a few exceptions. I did not get a sense that the large companies were really doing much in the mHealth space. However, they were happy to be at the Summit because they may be able to form ventures with some of the smaller companies.

Those smaller companies seemed to be primarily looking for three things:

  • Validation of product
  • Money from “bankers”
  • A venture with a larger company


Unabashed Product Pushes

These were also called breakout sessions and executive spotlights.

I did a breakout session on ROI. The thing I was most proud of was the number of audience members who approached afterwards who said, “I have no idea what you do. Can you tell me…..” I considered that a great compliment.

I witnessed one session where a panelist had company logos and diagrams in his slide presentation. He turned every question from the audience into a product pitch. Based on those in the audience rolling their eyes and lack of people who approached this individual afterwards, I would say I was not the only one sick of his vendor pitch.

When are people going to learn that being a self-serving shill pitching your products under the guise of education works exactly the opposite way? (i.e. nobody cares about you or your product – YOU TURN PEOPLE OFF.)

State of the Industry

As a synopsis, I believe the following as it pertains to the mHealth industry:

  • There is a lot of confusion. It is hard to distinguish one app from the next.
  • Exhibiting a “real” ROI to prospective clients is a must. If a vendor answers a question regarding ROI with, “Imagine if …” that is not a real ROI.
  • That HIMSS designated talented people and monetary resources to mHealth is a very encouraging sign for the future.
  • Technology needs to be invisible. Nobody really cares about the technology. It is what the technology can do to lower costs, keep costs contained, and improve healthcare.

Lastly, regarding Mr. H’s comment that he snickers any time she sees someone wearing Google Glass, personally, I get a little nauseous.

Kevin Lasser is CEO of JEMS Technology of Orion, MI.

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