Live from the mHealth Summit, Washington DC: Patty Mechael (pictured), the executive director of the mHealth Alliance, has announced a more focused approach for the organisation following a review that has been running since May this year. Mechael pointed to five areas where the alliance should have a co-ordinating role: integration and interoperability of mobile health projects; building an evidence base in the field; the shift in mhealth finance from philanthropy to commercial models; addressing policy challenges for instance in user privacy; and addressing a skills gap for large scale mhealth deployments.

Addressing a question from Mobile Health Live, Mechael said there will be “a much more targeted focus to what we do in the future” compared to the alliance’s previous approach. “To many degrees we were working in some of these areas, just not in a structured way,” she noted.  Mechael added that “a lot has changed in mhealth in the last 12 months so that it’s clearer where the critical gaps are.” Earlier she said that the organisation wants to put an emphasis on how mobile technology can actually deliver improvements to patients’ actual health. The transition to the new model will begin in the first quarter of 2012.