Although mHealth is quickly growing in the U.S. and across much of Europe, Asia, Africa and even Australia, there’s been one glaring mHealth laggard here in North America, and that’s Canada.
But that may finally be changing, according to a new report from the Financial Post.
“Historically, medicine is about the laying on of hands,” Will Falk, managing partner of the health industries practice at PwC Canada, is quoted in the piece. “When you talk to your lawyer, accountant or travel agent, you don’t make a distinction between talking to them on the phone or meeting with them in person. For the value that these professions add, we don’t have the expectation that you have to be face to face, but health care has traditionally been treated differently.”
Sources speaking with the publication explain that there are “business implications” to the longstanding perception that medical care requires physical presence. Only now has mHealth finally shaken up the status quo. And as 2014 rolls along, insurers are even beginning to consider reimbursement for services delivered remotely, via telemedicine and mobile technology.
And the rate of mHealth adoption in Canada will likely gain speed, but only as doctors get more aggressive in their adoption.
“Doctors tend to be quite conservative in terms of making changes, and rightly so, because there’s a lot at risk,” adds Ben Wilson, director of Mobile Health at Intel. “But this is a case where the culture of caution and taking your time to adopt new technologies has created a barrier to accessing the benefits of mobility. This can be an issue, particularly with older practitioners who may not use smart phones and tablets as widely as their younger colleagues.”
To read the full report from the Financial Post, click here.