The 2011 mHealth Summit taking place December 5th through 7th in the D.C. area will focus on shaping the future of mobile health. Just announced is that Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius will be the opening keynote presenter this year.

The Secretary’s address at the mHealth Summit will focus on how the Obama Administration is using mobile technologies to promote better health.  She was sworn in as the 21st Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on April 28, 2009.

In 2011, Forbes named Secretary Sebelius the 13th most powerful woman in the world.  Before her Cabinet appointment in April, 2009, she served as Governor of Kansas starting in 2003, where she was named one of America’s Top Five Governors by Time Magazine. From 1995 to 2003 she served as Kansas’ Insurance Commissioner. She was also a member of the Kansas House of Representatives from 1987 to 1995.

The addition of Secretary Sebelius rounds out an impressive roster of keynote presenters, including Dr. Eric Topol (interviewed by iMedicalApps), Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin, Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs  and FCC chairman Julius Genachowski.

The 3rd annual mHealth Summit is presented by the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH ) in partnership with the mHealth Alliance, the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Richard Scarfo, Director of the mHealth Summit at the FNIH, commented on the upcoming summit.

“We are honored to have Secretary Sebelius join us at the mHealth Summit to share her perspective on the potential of mHealth in America’s most vulnerable communities. The Secretary’s work in promoting wellness and prevention, her support for the adoption of electronic medical records, and her focus on improving health through new technologies and improved care models in America demonstrates her dedication to innovative new approaches, like mHealth.”

HHS is the main agency tasked with protecting the health of Americans and providing essential human services — especially for those who are least able to help themselves. The department includes more than 300 programs, covering a wide spectrum of activities.

The iMedicalApps team has previously discussed the influence of HHS on mobile health. Recently, HHS launched the Text4Health initiative, which has a goal of providing innovative recommendations to support health text messaging and mHealth programs. HHS also recently proposed new rules affecting how patients access test results directly from labs in a HIPPA compliant manner.

Secretary Sebelius’ commitment to mHealth seems genuine as noted from a comment featured on the HHS website.

“When we talk about health care, we always keep in mind that we are not just talking about saving money or increasing efficiency.  We are also talking about providing a higher quality of life.  When people are healthy, they miss fewer days of work and get more done.  They spend more time at home and less time in doctors’ offices.  They can take care of their grandkids.  They can play softball…They can get a good night of sleep.”

Source: Press Release