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Leah Sparks on Mobile Health Data and Privacy

Mobile health apps are a valuable source of data that could lead to new clinical and intervention insights, according to Leah Sparks, co-founder and CEO of Wildflower Health. However, she said, users must first overcome their fear of the unknown.


Mobile health apps are a valuable source of data that could lead to new clinical and intervention insights, according to Leah Sparks, co-founder and CEO of Wildflower Health. However, she said, users must first overcome their fear of the unknown.

Transcript (slightly modified)

How has mHealth impacted how patient-specific data is being tracked and analyzed?

Obviously, it makes it so much easier to get that data and to get it real-time, in a scalable way, and get data points that we may not even know are important. So the great thing about sensors, and people tracking things on apps and all these mobile devices, is that we’re getting so much data that before we may not have interactions, or wasn’t possible with other types of technology, and now we’ll get things that may be important that we didn’t even know about. And I think that could be really transformative for both clinical insights and healthcare intervention insights.

What do you think is important for patients and providers to understand about new and engaging technologies like mHealth?

I think that in some parts of the market, some demographics of both patients and physicians, there’s still a lot of fear of the unknown. Fear of security, fear of privacy, and I think those are legitimate. But at the same time, the best way for our healthcare system to evolve is to figure out those challenges and embrace them nonetheless.

So I think there’s just a really important insight that this is the way of the future and we just have to overcome those potential fears on security and privacy. And responsible players in the market, companies like ours and big systems, are addressing those challenges so that we can navigate and really harness that technology for the good of the healthcare system.

 
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