HIMSS launches a new mobile health association - mHIMSS

By Jeff Rowe, Contributing Writer

In a time when new mobile health products and apps seem to appear daily in the healthcare marketplace, how can providers and other stakeholders ever hope to keep up?

That's the question the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) plans to answer. An organizing member of next week's mHealth Summit, HIMSS will show off its latest initiative, mHIMSS at the conference.

With mHIMSS, the Chicago-based organization is launching a new association designed to help healthcare stakeholders around the globe optimize their use of ever-changing mobile health technologies.

"The intent is to equip our members with the necessary tools and educational resources that will enable them to harness the power of mobile health and transform healthcare," said Edna Boone, senior director of mHIMSS.

The new association will call on a wide range of educational and communications resources to offer up-to-date information and perspectives on mobile health issues. Aggregated news reporting, original content, blogs and social media outlets are just a few of the tools mHIMSS will bring to bear on mobile health topics. Web papers from corporate members, case studies of best practices and a privacy and security toolkit also will be provided.

In short, Boone said, the goal of mHIMSS is "to provide a platform so that all mobile and wireless healthcare stakeholders can engage."

The new organization took its first big step on Wednesday, Nov. 30, with the launch of a website, mHIMSS.org, produced in collaboration with MedTech Media. According to Jack Beaudoin, MedTech's CEO, "mHIMSS.org will be unique because it combines the best
information from an association dedicated to advancing knowledge around mobile health with a dedicated, independent news organization to report on the latest issues, trends and breaking news. It will be a community of experts, with ample opportunities for users to contribute their knowledge and experiences, supported by the latest business information and data."

Beaudoin noted that MedTech began reporting on the mHealth space in 2008, and "given the rapid pace of developments within the industry, we knew there was clear demand for more actionable news, data and information."

"When the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society launched mHIMSS, we saw a natural opportunity to work together," he said.

At first, Boone said, mHIMSS will focus on providing information and educational resources to hospitals, healthcare systems and other direct care organizations in the United States and around the world. After that, it will expand its scope to include resources for organizations involved in healthcare policy and standards development and mobile technologies research and finance, as well as consumer groups.

Mobile health privacy and security, infrastructure and impact on organizational workflow are among the issues on which mHIMSS will focus.

According to Boone, elements of the association's launch, such as an individual membership drive and the creation of a content task force, are already underway.

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