Summing up mHealth Summit 2011

Sproxil was lucky enough to be able to send TWO folks to this year’s mHealth Summit 2011 at Gaylord Convention Center (National Harbor, MD) from December 5th to December 7th. From 8am on Monday morning until its end, the Summit was buzzing with people talking about amazing ideas and initiatives, networking with like-minded professionals, and enjoying the many stands that graced the convention’s exhibit halls from Monday to Wednesday. Additionally, FNIH and partners mHealth Alliance, mHIMSS, and NIH organized dozens of great sessions for attendees to go to learn and interact with the men and women in the healthcare sector.

Dr. Ashifi Gogo, CEO of Sproxil and conference veteran, attended and sat on the Tuesday (Dec 6th) 11:15am panel called “The Impact of Mobile on the Pharmaceutical Industry: Supply Chain to Compliance.” It was an exciting session, to say the least, and it shed a lot of light on the much-underestimated problem of counterfeit drugs.

As a first-timer, I was overwhelmed by the wealth of knowledge presented before me. Every minute was an opportunity to learn, react, and interact!

The ideas presented during the conference focused on both the developed and developing world, and on utilizing both smartphone web-based applications and SMS messaging to foster greater communication between patients and their healthcare providers, and empower the consumer through increased medical knowledge.

I spent the late afternoons-early evenings hovering over Sproxil’s two posters, answering questions from passers-by and teaching others about the problem of counterfeits in the healthcare sector. The posters were entitled “Getting Beyond the Pilot” (by CFO Alden Zecha), and “Fighting Against Counterfeit Drugs with Sproxil” (by Alison Martin).

“Getting Beyond the Pilot” spoke to the mHealth problem of pilotitis. Pilotitis is a ‘disease’ that hinders mHealth campaigns from going beyond its pilot phase due to its inability to endure and justify its costs versus benefits in the long term. There is a plethora of great ideas that seek to provide positive change in aspects of healthcare – from finding a way to facilitate greater communication to encouraging others to learn about serious and prevalent diseases – but sometimes, these great ideas don’t last. They don’t have the sustainability or scalability to last very long and provide benefits that justify its means. Sproxil’s business model succeeded through its pilot stage through five design factors used to increase probability of success: (1) serve all the stakeholders involved, (2) design your campaign for usability, (3) be location independent, (4) charge for value, and (5) design for adaptability. Through these 5 design factors, Sproxil has been able to launch operations in 5 countries in less than five years, and has provided protection for over 750,000 unique users.

“Fighting Against Counterfeit Drugs with Sproxil” sought to highlight the counterfeit problem and how Sproxil is working against it through our mobile solution. The benefits of our solution are to empower the consumer, protect the pharmaceutical company’s brand name, and reduce counterfeiting, just to name a few (of many).

Both Dr. Gogo and I ended our trip on a positive note – bags heavy with business cards, brochures, and flyers, and minds full of inspiring ideas and innovations that will definitely prove to change the mobile health world for the better.