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Under Pak's leadership, Diversinet puts mobility at the top of the healthcare agenda

By Eric Wicklund, Editor, ATA 2012 Show Dailies

TORONTO – As Hon Pak sees it, today's telemedicine system is still focused on access to a computer. And that's not good enough in an increasingly mobile world.

Pak, the new CEO of Diversinet, plans to put mobility at the center of the Toronto-based mHealth company's strategy as it moves forward. He expects mobility to play an important role in all healthcare reform efforts, and he wants to help define that role and, in essence, shape the healthcare platform of tomorrow.

"This is the care coordination model of the future," says the 28-year U.S. Army veteran and former president of the ATA. "Just connecting patients won't be enough. There will be mobile devices at both ends of the spectrum  – providers and patients. The world will definitely be figuring out how to change healthcare."

Pak, who was the first chief information officer of the U.S. Army Medical Department and the Army's first chief information officer, became Diversinet's CEO in February. He said the company's secure mobile platform will help healthcare move toward a more adaptable and efficient system.  

"In the past 60 days as interim CEO, I have had the time to validate our technology and assess the market potential for Diversinet," he said in a Feb. 14 press release. "Our technology is much more than mobile security. The core technology has the components to support and enable care coordination through mobility, and we are now developing a marketing and technology strategy to become a dominant player to mobilize care coordination."

"Healthcare is becoming unsustainable, and changes are now in place that will impact the landscape of how healthcare will be delivered," he added, citing shifting market forces, such as the rising costs of healthcare, that are prompting the overall industry to re-evaluate its current models and look toward new models, like the patient-centered medical home and accountable care.

Pak wants to see new ways to bring about a more patient- centered and systems-based approach that improves the value of healthcare with a focus on wellness and prevention. He believes that shift will focus on patient engagement and care coordination. "Providers can no longer provide episodic care," he pointed out, "but they are now responsible for leading a team responsible for coordinating and managing all of a patient's care."

At its booth in the ATA Exhibit Hall, Diversinet will offer information about, among other things, its recently announced partnership with AirStrip, which is using the company's MobiSecure solution to provide encryption and authentication for its mobile device applications. AirStrip's CEO, Alan Portela – also a member of Diversinet's board of directors – said the partnership will enable AirStrip to market its mobile products to the federal government, giving nurses, physicians and caregivers the ability to use mobile devices in the battlefield and other remote locations.

"Having Dr. Pak join Diversinet as the full time CEO is a game-changer for the company," Portela said. "Hon's credibility, experience and leadership in steering the IT transformation of the U.S. Army Medical Department along with his new focused vision will make Diversinet a more significant player in mobile health."

Pak said the AirStrip deal, and others being forced by Diversinet, puts the focus on data collection at the point of care – wherever that may be.

"It's really about understanding the ecosystem," he says. "We both believe that care coordination and patient-centered care need to be brought together in a meaningful way."

Pak says the company will be focusing in the future on home-based healthcare and chronic disease management, and watching closely how the ATA and other organizations lobby for better reimbursement for telemedicine.

"We need to get off fee-for-service and work toward pay-for-outcomes," he says. "To do that (with telemedicine), we're going to have to take the available technology and develop and prove best practices – show what works."

Diversinet is at Booth 1144 in the ATA Exhibit Hall.

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