How mHealth Can Pay Tribute to Steve Jobs


Steve Jobs is best remembered for the boyish enthusiasm and his vision of improving the quality of life of millions of people with innovative devices.  My experiences with members of the mHealth community have made me believe that we share this passion for improving life with innovative technology.  I, like he, do not have a formal computer or engineering education.  However, the satisfaction I achieved in the clinical practice of cardiac electrophysiology by saving lives, (primarily by implanting life-saving devices in patients), inspires me to help even more people with  my participation in the mHealth field. Steve Jobs was indeed a shining an example to me and others.

So how best can the mHealth community contribute to the memory of Steve Jobs?  How about creating a wireless technology app or platform for Good Samaritans? What would this look like?  Picture one which integrates the following: instructions in CPR and information about automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) and how to use them.  One that would integrate with your phone’s GPS and give you a touch control to call for emergency help not only 911, but the emergency number of the private or public facility’s ‘in case of emergency number’.  The app could have an option for a health care provider’s use in common emergencies.  The app would be low-fee based and money given towards mHealth research, or be free.

I would love to see a comprehensive national legislative MHealth bill passed in the name of Steve Jobs. It should include grants for funding research, funding for small companies developing mHealth technologies, and clinical studies.  The monies can be garnered from the collection of healthcare penalties from RAC audits, EHR non-adoption, fines from Medicare and Medicaid fraud, etc.

Scholarships in Steve Jobs’ name for engineering, health science, and public policy graduate students performing mHealth research. University-industry initiatives in mHealth could possibly benefit from donation-based funding in his memory.

Steve Jobs had a love of the arts.  His vision of beautiful technology was evident down to his involvement of the physical appearance of the packaging of his devices. Perhaps a marriage of mHealth and art with the development of an app for art and music therapy in his name would be fitting.  Alas, nothing can replace this true Renaissance man. These are just a few things a physician, humbled by this man’s vision and accomplishments, thought of. I think he would like what mHealth is going to look like down the road.

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About davidleescher

David Lee Scher, MD is Founder and Director at DLS HEALTHCARE CONSULTING, LLC, which specializes in advising digital health technology companies, their partners, investors, and clients. As a cardiac electrophysiologist and pioneer adopter of remote patient monitoring, he understood early on the challenges that the culture and landscape of healthcare present to the development and adoption of digital technologies. He is a well-respected thought leader in mobile and other digital health technologies. Scher lectures worldwide on relevant industry topics including the role of tech in Pharma, patient advocacy, standards for development and adoption, and impact on patients and healthcare systems from clinical, risk management, operational and marketing standpoints. He is a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at Penn State College of Medicine.
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