The 45th Annual Meeting of the Florida Society of Health-System Pharmacists (FSHP) was held in Orlando during the weekend. Since it is a state organization conference, it is much smaller than gatherings like the ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting. This allowed for a streamlined set of programming tracks and a more relaxed atmosphere. There were also some interesting individual sessions (and necessities) on medication errors, pain management, etc. I particularly liked the presentation on “Cyberhealth”, which focused on issues with Internet Pharmacy. Additionally, I had the opportunity to present “Pharmacy: Is there an app for you” at the meeting.
I already miss the sound of the techno music from the Walter E. Washington Convention Center at the 2010 mHealth Summit. Because I’ve seen a number of questions about what mHealth is, here is my preferred definition from lecture courtesy of @mHealthAlliance: “the use of mobile devices and global networks to deliver health services and information”. One reason I like this definition is its emphasis on the ‘network’ piece. It allows for a much broader application. I understand the desire by some for the term uHealth (u=ubiquitous) and others, like one presenter at AMIA 2-3 years ago from Rockefeller, who yearn for everything to eventually just be ‘health’. While recognizing that the types of labels like mHealth can definitely be problematic in the long-run, they also can be really useful in the short term for conveying a basic context, getting people to the table, and creating rallying points…which brings me to my next point. One of the oft-parroted comments of the Summit was that there was too much hype about mHealth. Unfortunately the word ‘hype’ was being used interchangeably with ‘excitement’ in many cases. Of course mHealth isn’t a panacea and there are serious obstacles to navigate. But let’s not lose sight of the fact that it is really hard to motivate people, to excite people, and to generate momentum…and mHealth is accomplishing those things. So please let’s not be so terrified about overpromising and under-delivering that we squash genuine enthusiasm. Of course there are speed bumps and as @joncamfield noted, there are definitely some mobile parlor tricks to be wary of out there (he also had the fantastic idea of an implementer track for next year). In the interest of being fair and balanced, here is an example of a public health/mHealth app featuring augmented reality that may mean well but has questionable execution [EDIT: yes, the video below is for an actual app].
Onto the conference proper…David Aylward, Executive Director of the mHealth Alliance, began with a pseudo-demo of wearable body area networking for basic vitals. Side note: Aylward closed the conference while wearing a Bugs Bunny tie that I speculated was an ode to Ted Turner and his Cartoon Network. This remains unconfirmed. Slightly more relevant, the conference was livestreamed and h/t to @planetrussell who noted that videos from the stream are starting to appear in various YouTube channels.
The first two WOW moments of #mhs10 for me included the announcement of the 2011 NIH Summer Institute on mHealth Research, which will provide specialized training opportunities for 25 researchers.
The second was during a panel presentation by @JoshNesbit in which he shared a word cloud of the tweets from Haiti following the earthquake. The wow moment was when he pointed out that the second most tweeted word was ‘please’. That revelation definitely gave me pause.
End ATF: Part 1
Part 2 may or may not highlight snarky entrepreneurs, bedsore-preventing robots, keynote Star Wars quotes, and actual data.
The title of this post is shorthand for four of the keynote presenters at next week’s mHealth Summit (follow at #mhs10) in Washington DC. In addition to these four keynotes by Bill Gates (@BillGates), Ted Turner, Aneesh Chopra, and Judith Rodin, there is a great lineup of speakers and moderators. There is a dizzying array of tracks and talks to choose from, but for me there are a handful that are particularly relevant. These include Najeeb Al-Shorbaji, who directs KMS at the World Health Organization, @SusannahFox of Pew Internet & American Life and e-patients.net, who is asking the right questions and always has cool new data right around the corner, Matthew Holt (@boltyboy), who is behind THCB and Health 2.0 [and who will hopefully be bemoaning Chelsea dropping points the Sunday prior], @JoshNesbit whose video about Frontline SMS I regularly use in my informatics course and who presents one of the most compelling cases for mHealth [seriously, you may be dead inside if it doesn't speak to you on some level].
I am also really eager to hear from @HajovanBeijma from Text to Change and Susan Dentzer, who has been very forward thinking as EIC at Health Affairs, as well as to meet Walter Curioso, whose work I have long admired. Since some of the biggest issues facing mHealth deal with scalability, policy, and interoperability, the mHealth Summit promises to be particularly useful as this conference brings together most of the stakeholders necessary to enact change. I am looking forward to it. I plan to be livetweeting and possibly liveblogging some, but I may very well get caught up in the presentations and discussions so I can’t make any guarantees.
This should be a really interesting semester since it is first time I will be teaching “Consumer Health Informatics and Web 2.0 in Healthcare” in the College of Medicine – Biomedical Informatics Program and in the College of Pharmacy (COP). This is the third time I have taught this elective in the Masters of Biomedical Informatics (MSBI) Program, but it is the first for Pharmacy (and obviously the first time concurrently).
The COP elective is more traditional as it primarily meets in a classroom; however, it does have some hybrid aspects in that some of the lectures will be asynchronous Tegrity sessions. The plan is for the students to view those on their own and then have discussion-driven classes following those. I am also using an audience response system during the COP course to try and promote student engagement. It is a course delivered via live, interactive video to two of our sites this semester (i.e. Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach). One of the most exciting aspects of the COP course is the calibre of the guest lectures who have agreed to participate this semester. It is a bit experimental as the guest presenters will be contributing lectures via asynchronous recorded lectures, live via videoconference (e.g. Skype) so that we can also have live Q&A, and live in-classroom.
For the MSBI offering, it is built to accomodate students in a much wider geographic distribution. Most of the students this semester are in Florida, but there are also students spending much of their time in places as far as Saudi Arabia. Regardless, South Florida lends itself to a very diverse population and so there is a strong international presence in most programs anyway. Because of this distribution, the course is basically delivered online through the use of asynchronous sessions and Live Sessions. This is a really interesting course due, in part, to the heterogenous nature of the students. Even though the program is housed in the COM, it allows for varying types of students seeking their Masters. So far I have had students with backgrounds including practicing pharmacists, physicians, nurses, and scientists along with teachers, businesspeople and computer science experts. It makes for some pretty lively discussions as the range of experience and expertise among the students can be eye-opening!
So that is a pretty long preface to say that I have posted the slides from one of my favorite lectures of the semester – mHealth. I think there is enormous potential for mHealth. I am also happy to be involved in a panel on this topic at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Midyear Clinical Meeting in December of this year. Please feel free to share any feedback you have about the scope, contents, or emphasis of this slide deck. Every semester in this course I add and delete lecture topics and then tweak and update the existing ones – so your opinions are all welcome.