If you read here often enough then you know I question the “data selling” side of the apps all the time as data selling is an “epidemic” in the US, sure there’s data with value and then we have selling data just to see what query one could build and make a market to sell it, a lot of that out there and the number of apps as indicated in this article substantiate that.  There’s a lot of “me too” apps that basically do what about 3 or 4 other apps do but just a little different and new graphics.  That’s why you see so many of them out there, toss it against the wall and see what sticks, and that paradigm is not just limited to mHealth either.  The privacy factor is a big deal, and when I go into the big drug store chains I tune out now myself as you are “bombed” at times with too much and I don’t want Walgreens sending ad to my phone.  There’s a certain part of life when one likes to “discover” things on the shelf alone:)

mHealth and Other Technologies in Healthcare Experience Slow Growth Is As the Data Selling Epidemic for Shear Profit in the US Continues to Grow Leaps and Bounds Leaving Manufacturing in the Hole and Non Competitive

Everyone comes out with an app “you just have to use” but stats say otherwise.  One thing that kind of made me chuckle a bit here is the mention  of the fact that insurers don’t reimburse for the apps but geez many of them fund a lot of these apps, look at some of what Aetna does for one as they seem to belong to the “there’s an app to fix anything or change your behavior” club.  This article below where it talked about the 10 biggest investments with mobile health, most using the selling data business model, ho hum. 

10 Biggest Mobile Health Investments This Year Appear to Have Business Plans With Profits Contingent on Selling Data for Profit And VCs Seem To Like Funding Models As Such, Look At The Numbers…

And then there’s the question, do you want mHealth in your car too? 

In Car-In Health Monitoring From Ford and Microsoft Announced–Will Need to Remain As An Option And Who Gets the Data and Would It Be Sold At Some Point?

I’m talking the consumer apps and not ones that are developed and used by doctors with electronic records, as that’s a different category completely.  One thing for sure until we get some decent privacy with IT Infrastructures and with all the talk of the NSA monitoring, people are not going to buy in so we do need to start an index of all who sell data, including banks too as you now have insurers buying your 30 years worth of Visa and Master Card data too, and Larry Ellison agreed on that as well with his comments relative to the NSA. 

So a license for a fee would begin the indexing system and excise taxing those who make big money selling data would be the second portion along with a federal site where consumers can look up and see who sells what kind of data and to who to give regulators a leg to stand on, now they have zero.

Insurance Companies Are Buying Up Consumer Spending Data-Time is Here to License and Tax the Data Sellers-As Insurers Sell Tons of Data, Gets Flawed Data When Data Buyers Uses Out of Context Too

Everywhere you turn someone wants to sell your data.  Even pharma companies like Lilly are working with Humana to sell more data.   

United Healthcare Buys Humedica and Gets More Data to Analyze and Sell To Medical Device and Drug Companies–More Big Profits From Health Data

So we do need Congress and the FTC to address this soon as the junk apps will just sit there, again you can read the stats below.  So far the FTC seems to lack some modeling direction in their ability to address this.  There are a few mHealth companies that state they don’t sell data like the Scanadu Tri-Coder under development and Heapsylon/Sensoria  with sock and fabric monitors.   As Sensoria says we sell socks, not data:)

FTC Tries to Bring Strong Case for Consumer Protections With Use of Data–But Nothing About Creating IT Infrastructure Path to Allow Regulation–Gov Can’t or Won’t Model?

It is sad that this had to be the tradeoff with some of the more useful apps that all your data has to be scraped and sold and we don’t have a clue where it ends up anymore.  It is such an epidemic that there’s now a game that exploits the problem, Data Dealer.   So until the privacy issue is addressed and we begin licensing and indexing I would not look for a lot to move in the mHealth areas with consumer buying in, I’m not.  The video is pretty well done and entertaining as well below.  BD

Data Dealer the Game That Exploits the Epidemic

What the researchers found was that while there are a lot of apps out there, most have limited functionality. More than 90 percent apps reviewed by the researchers scored less than 40 out of 100 on functionality, based on 25 clinical functionalities. More than half of the available apps have been downloaded fewer than 500 times and five big apps represent 15 percent of all downloads. Additionally, most mHealth apps don’t address the areas of greatest needs around outcomes and age.

They are not the sort of apps that would be useful for patients who are on multiple medications, [and could use] some kind of reminder system that can ensure adherence to medication guidelines. They are not the sort of apps that involve remote monitoring of patients’ vital signs.  They are not the sort of apps that can help with a transition from one care setting to another. Those apps are the ones with a serious role to play in healthcare. We see some, but we don’t see thousands of them. We think that’s the direction we will head in, and ultimately, where we can see the apps bring a greater value to healthcare.

Physicians are leery of formally recommending mHealth apps for a few reasons. One, the evidence that the apps actually help the patient is hard to find, particularly from randomized trials. Physicians are also concerned about the security of personal health information generated and transmitted from the app. They’re leery of recommending them without clear professional guidelines about their use.



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