August 23, 2013
mHealth Needs Scientific Health
This is an unusual topic for a blog, but needs publication and familiarization. The world of mHealth is growing everyday and according to Dr. Robert M. Kaplan needs to be done with good scientific health behind it. He feels that there is real scientific value once we move away from the hype.
I agree with him, as there is too much hype surrounding much of the mobile health devices on the market today and much of the hype is just to prevent you from seeing how little value or usability is in the devices. This is part of the reason the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) in the Office of the Director, NIH (National Institute of Health) was created by Congress in 1995.
The OBSSR mission is to stimulate behavioral and social sciences research throughout NIH and to integrate these improving our understanding, treatment, and prevention of disease. Read the full mission statement here.
There is a lot of excitement surrounding the use of new mobile and wearable health information and sensing technologies. Their potential to enhance health research, improve health, while also reducing the cost of health care is needed. However, strong scientific research is needed to examine their potential and challenges of their use. This will put companies on notice that hype will not get them a pass to use.
The OBSSR has funding opportunities to help in the development of devices that can fulfill these goals and this can be read here. Unfortunately, it is not all about devices, but includes social sciences and behavioral sciences as well. Take time to explore the site.