December 20th, 2012

mHealth Summit 2012

by Susan Rucci, Johnson & Johnson NYU Global Fellow

Recently, I had the opportunity to be a part of the Johnson & Johnson team at the 4th annual mHealth Summit 2012 in Washington, D.C.  Johnson & Johnson was a sponsor of the summit which highlighted emerging best practices for mobile health research and implementation.  To me, the conference was an indication of a health care renaissance around mobile health technology that is leading to smarter ways of educating, treating and preventing diseases.  It was also a great way for Johnson & Johnson to demonstrate our commitment to helping people around the world live longer, healthier, happier lives.

We believe in the potential of mobile technology to revolutionize the delivery of health information and healthcare and we were proud to showcase several of our mHealth innovations and partnerships that are making that potential a new reality for millions of people around the world.

Here are a few examples:


Conference attendees got a chance to try out our newly launched Johnson & Johnson Digital Health Scorecard. heath_care_information

The scorecard is like a credit score for your health.  It asks seven simple questions about health measures and habits and delivers a single number (based out of 100.)  The number indicates where you currently stand and what you can do to lessen the long term risk of developing chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease.  According to the World Health Organization, 3 in 5 deaths worldwide are now from chronic health diseases.  By 2020, that number will likely rise to 3 in 4 deaths if behavior modifications don’t happen now. “The scorecard provides people with critical health data and offers suggestions about healthier lifestyle choices,” said Scott Ratzan, M.D., Vice President of Global Health.

Digital_Health_Scorecard_ Better_Health_Pavilion

Michael Weinberger, Director of Marketplace Innovation for Johnson & Johnson, demonstrates the Digital Health Scorecard at the Better Health Pavilion


Crowd at the Digital Health Scorecard Presentation


Attendees loved the easy to navigate interface

“We heard great feedback from physicians and public health experts on the value of the underlying science and how it can impact global health literacy,” said Michael Weinberger, Director of Johnson & Johnson’s Marketplace Innovation.

One of those public health experts was Teresa Pfaff.  Terri is a public health nurse at the Isaiah Wellness Center of the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing in Baltimore, Maryland.  She told me she saw endless possibilities with the scorecard.  “I could definitely see myself using this app to work with my clients.  I could take the scorecard and, as their provider, use their numbers to figure out what areas we can work on to improve their health,” said Pfaff.

About 170 people stopped by our booth to get their health scores, earning an average score of 83.  Are you curious about your own score?  Visit to learn more and download the Windows 8 app. Versions for iPhone, iPad, Android and the web are on the way too.

Mobile Messaging for Mothers

Our team also shared examples of how our public-private partnerships are helping new and expectant moms obtain knowledge and better care for their health, as well as give their babies the best possible start in life.  Text4Baby is the first and largest mobile health text messaging service in the U.S.  It provides free, accurate text-length health information and resources in a format that is personal, timely and easy to use.  It’s making a difference too.  A George Washington University-led randomized evaluation found Text4Baby mothers were nearly three times more likely to believe they were better prepared to be new mothers versus those who did not subscribe to our mobile app.  Text4Baby is available in the United States and Russia.  Another one of our mobile health apps, MAMA, reaches women in places around the world where access to health information can be challenging, such as Bangladesh, South Africa and India.

Care4Today™ Mobile Health Manager

Our Janssen team showed off Care4Today™ Mobile Health Manager, a free and secure two-way messaging platform, mobile application and website that empowers consumers to better care for themselves by providing self-directed reminders to take medications, refill prescriptions and visit healthcare providers.

Hearing from our Experts

Our experts spoke on various panels about our company’s vision for mobile health’s future.  Here’s where you can catch replays of those presentations:

Dr. Scott Ratzan, Vice President of Global Health, discussed care models in motion – challenges, disruption and innovation in healthcare.

Sharon D’Agostino, Vice President, Corporate Citizenship, talked about the road ahead – the future of mobile technologies for global health.

Kim Kadlec, WorldWide Vice President of Global Marketing Group, highlighted how Johnson & Johnson is using mobile technology to better connect to families and their healthcare needs.

And finally, Alice Fabiano, Senior Program Officer and Adviser to Corporate Contributions, talked about partnering for success and shared examples of our successful public-private partnerships in mHealth.

Attendees also scored Johnson & Johnson pedometers as part of our program to encourage everyone to take “Steps 4 Health.” We asked people to tweet us about wearing the pedometers and LOVED the responses!


JNJ pedometers part of the Steps 4 Health program.

Good health is achieved one step at a time.  Perhaps that’s the most important message of the mHealth Summit: it’s never too early or too late to get healthy.

As a Generation Xer, I love the idea of mobile health apps.  My generation and those who follow us have grown up Internet, technology and mobile savvy.  Our attitude is ‘have smartphone, have smarts’ and all our apps featured at the mHealth Summit do just that, especially the Digital Health Scorecard for me personally.  I was nervous to get my number because even though I am a boot camp exercise devotee, I have a weak spot for chips and guacamole and a family history of diabetes.   I scored a 90!  I guess all those boot camps are paying off.  Want to see if you can score better than I did?  Don’t forget to visit to learn how to download the Windows 8 app.

To learn more about all our mHealth tools and programs, visit

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