Rep. Honda Reintroduces Mobile Health Innovation Legislation


On Thursday, Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.) reintroduced a bill (HR 2363) that aims to advance innovation in mobile health and other health care technologies, TMC News reports (TMC News, 6/14).

Details of Bill

Honda first introduced the legislation -- called the Healthcare Innovation and Marketplace Technologies Act -- in December 2012.

The bill would require FDA to establish a new Office of Wireless Health.

The new office would work with other government agencies and private businesses to help the FDA commissioner develop a "consistent, reasonable and predictable regulatory framework" for wireless and digital health tools.

Honda said the office would bring new expertise to FDA, as well as help mobile health technologies get to market faster.

The bill also would:

  • Establish an HHS program to support mobile health developers and help them ensure that their technologies align with current privacy regulations; 
  • Create a low-interest, small business loan program to encourage clinics and physician practices to purchase health IT tools;
  • Establish a tax incentive program to help health care providers deduct the cost of certain health IT systems, excluding electronic health record systems;
  • Set up a grant program to provide support to health care providers who retrain employees for new health IT-related positions; and
  • Launch new prize and grant programs to spur the development of new health IT tools (iHealthBeat, 12/5/12).

Comments on Bill

In a statement, Alice Borrelli -- director of global health care policy at Intel -- said, "Congressman Honda is taking a comprehensive view of the value of health IT and how the many different solutions -- ranging from telehealth to physician tablets to portable EKGs -- give clinicians, patients and caregivers new tools to impact our health at reduced costs."

In a separate statement, Robert Jarrin -- senior director for government affairs at Qualcomm, a vendor of wireless technology -- said that Qualcomm believes that "mobile communications will help overcome some of the challenges facing the U.S. health care system" (Honda release, 6/13).

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