Fabian Demicoli

Healthcare in your pocket: unlocking the potential of mHealth


The European
Commission has launched a consultation on mobile health (which can be found at:
http://ec.europa.eu/news/environment/140410_en.htm), asking for help in finding
ways to enhance the health and wellbeing of Europeans with the use of mobile
devices, such as mobile phones, tablets, patient monitoring devices and other
wireless devices.

European
Commission Vice-President Neelie Kroes, responsible for the Digital Agenda,
said: "mHealth will reduce costly visits to hospitals, help citizens take
charge of their own health and wellbeing, and move towards prevention rather
than cure. It is also a great opportunity for the booming app economy and for
entrepreneurs.

I
personally use a sports-band on my wrist to measure how active I am from day to
day, so I am a great supporter of mHealth already. Please send us your input
into this consultation to help us become global leaders in this fascinating
area".

European
Commissioner for Health Tonio Borg said: "mHealth has a great potential to
empower citizens to manage their own health and stay healthy longer, to trigger
greater quality of care and comfort for patients, and to assist health
professionals in their work. As such, exploring mHealth solutions can
contribute to modern, efficient and sustainable health systems".

How can mHealth help?

This
service will help by:

  • putting the patient in control, giving greater independence, and
    helping to prevent health problems
  • making a more efficient healthcare system, with vast potential
    for cost-savings
  • creating huge opportunities for innovative services, start-ups
    and the app economy.

 

 

 

Some
examples of mHealth include:

  • an app that measures your vital signals such as blood pressure
  • an app to help administer insulin to a diabetic, by transmitting
    control signals to the pump from a mobile platform
  • an app to remind patients they should take their medication
  • an app
    providing fitness or dietary recommendations to improve users' overall health
    and wellbeing

 

 

 

There are
nearly 100,000 mHealth #apps already available across multiple platforms such
as iTunes, Google play, Windows Marketplace, BlackBerry World. The top 20 free
sports, fitness and health apps already account for 231 million downloads
worldwide. By 2017, 3.4 billion people worldwide will own a smartphone and half
of them will be using mHealth apps. In 2017, if its potential is fully
unlocked, mHealth could save €99 billion in healthcare costs in the EU.

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