We all know that healthcare will be a front and center issue in the upcoming presidential election, irrespective of the Supreme Court decision regarding the health insurance mandate. Wouldn’t this be a great opportunity for one or both candidates to point to wireless technologies as a shining ray of hope out of the debacle that is healthcare in this country?
A candidate touting some of these technologies would stand out as a forward thinker, while advancing knowledge about mHealth with the public. The Republican nominee could stand out on the healthcare issue by being ‘the mHealth patient-centric technology candidate.’ If it is Mitt Romney, he could underscore his state’s concentration and support of biotech companies. Imagine President Obama at a State of the Union address discussing medical applications of Watson the computer at IBM and putting a spotlight on David Ferrucci, the lead investigator sitting in the balcony or a commercial with a patient with a remote monitoring product in place while having a telemedicine conference with a physician or nurse, sending a message to a split-screened caregiver. Nothing works better in the media about a healthcare story than a patient and a real life story. Remember the effective Medicare Harry and Louise commercials? Wireless health technology is something that everyone in concept loves. So why not take advantage of it during an election? Baby kissing, tasting food at the county fairs, and mHealth!
After the election, how about the winner at the inaugural address drawing a line in the sand challenge to develop technology that will emphasize wellness and address issues at the heart of chronic diseases, liberating patients from the traditional shackles of the physician’s office, clinics, and hospitals, while reducing healthcare costs. Opportunities like a combination of this election and the state of healthcare with emerging technologies that can significantly improve it are very rare. Let’s seize it and get mHealth into the spotlight. Tell your congressmen, delegates, and anyone who matters about mHealth. It may just get to the right place: the evening news.