ARLINGTON, Va. and AMSTERDAM, June 7, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The Personal Connected Health Alliance (PCHA) today announced the appointment of Patricia (Patty) Mechael, PhD, as its Executive Vice President, and launched its recharged mission and strategy to catalyze market and policy innovation, research and collective action for the sustained adoption of personal connected health.
PCHA, a strategic business unit of HIMSS, will continue to host the annual Connected Health Conference (formerly the mHealth Summit), the premier conference and expo providing a global platform for the exchange of research, evidence, ideas, innovations and opportunities in connected health. PCHA also publishes the annual Continua Design Guidelines, the international standard for authentic, end-to-end interoperability of personal connected health devices and systems.
"Patty is a dedicated and respected thought leader who has dedicated her career to solving some of today's greatest health challenges," said H. Stephen Lieber, CAE, HIMSS President and CEO. "Under Patty's direction, and with her unique vision, PCHA is focusing on the advancement of technology for efficacious self-care and public health, and is addressing pressing health challenges such as aging, chronic illness management, mental health and fitness."
Under Mechael's direction, PCHA has completed a comprehensive market analysis and strategic planning process, which defines a clear vision for the future: Better health and wellbeing for all through increased personal responsibility and connectivity as well as improved care delivery enabled by technology. PCHA's activities will support thought leadership, facilitate coordination and collaboration in innovation and research, and increase awareness and understanding of personal connected health on the part of all stakeholders.
Mechael launched PCHA's new strategy at the Continua Summer Summit, taking place in Amsterdam just before EU eHealth Week, where PCHA will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Continua Design Guidelines.
"Our combined efforts with members, collaborators and partners will focus on addressing what we're calling the current 'app and research gaps.' That is, aligning product development with current needs and developing a body of evidence to support increased adoption and long-term use of personal connected health devices. Our goal is to make personal responsibility for health and positive behavior change the norm and improved health outcomes through technology a reality," added Mechael. "PCHA is in a strong position to galvanize key stakeholders and provide the tools, standards and support needed to move personal connected health forward."
Mechael is a recipient of the 2016 British Council UK Education Social Impact Award and 2011 Knowledge for the World Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Johns Hopkins University, a Bellagio Residency alumna, member of the editorial board of the Journal of Medical Internet Research, and co-editor of the book: mHealth in Practice: Mobile technology for health promotion in the developing world. She was named one of the Digital Health 2016: Top 100 Influencers. Her academic affiliations and experience have included leadership and teaching roles at Princeton University, American University in Cairo, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Rutgers University, Columbia University and Johns Hopkins University. She has a BA from Johns Hopkins University, a Masters in Health Science in International Health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and a PhD from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Mechael also serves as principal and policy lead at HealthEnabled, a South Africa-based non-profit that helps national governments in low- and middle-income countries integrate life-saving digital health solutions into their health systems; and serves on the faculty at Johns Hopkins and Princeton University. Previously, she was Executive Director of the mHealth Alliance at the United Nations Foundation.
The Personal Connected Health Alliance (PCHA) works collaboratively with health, technology and life sciences, public policy, research and advocacy groups to support a new norm of personal health engagement, positive behavior change and improved wellbeing and health outcomes. PCHA is focused on driving the agenda, creating an evidence base and mobilizing collective action to achieve personal connected health for all. PCHA hosts the annual Connected Health Conference, an international forum and expo for networking and showcasing advancements in research, innovations and opportunities in personal connected health. PCHA is a division of HIMSS and home to Continua, which publishes the annual Continua Design Guidelines. Continua is recognized as the international standard for user friendly end-to-end interoperability of personal connected health devices and systems.
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SOURCE Personal Connected Health Alliance