M-HEALTH: MOBILE DEVICES WILL HELP DELIVER BETTER CARE FOR LESS
Indeed, it’s likely that m-health will be at the heart of innovative solutions that could ultimately redefine healthcare delivery.
- Digital Transformation of Care Delivers Benefits
- M-Health is Growing Worldwide
- Yet There Are Barriers to M-Health
- M-Health Can Boost the Economy
- SUPPORTING PREVENTIVE MEDICINE
- Turning Patients into Active Participants
- CONTRIBUTING TO MORE EFFICIENT HEALTHCARE
- ACCELERATING THE ADOPTION OF M-HEALTH SOLUTIONS
M-health programmes also have tremendous potential to support preventive medicine. As mobile technology spreads and develops, m-health tools could help deliver affordable prevention initiatives to over 185 million Europeans.
REDUCING THE RISK OF CHRONIC CONDITIONS
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as the old saying goes. Teaching people how to manage their risk factors for developing chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease could reduce their frequency by 50% to 73%, depending on the type of illness , according to a study done for the EU in 2013. Thanks to the widespread presence of tablets and smartphones, delivering personalised prevention information to individual patients is now possible.
The same assessment also projected that m-health solutions that help patients monitor their diet, physical activity levels and medications could help an estimated 11.2 million people in the EU better manage better their chronic conditions by 2017.
Another way to leverage m-health is through remote monitoring of patients’ physical conditions at their homes. Given Europe’s ageing population in Europe, this will be a significant development. Patients or home health nurses will be able to transmit their vital signs and symptom logs to physicians via connected mobile devices. Healthcare providers will then be able to intervene more quickly when needed, without patients having to wait for physical appointments. M-health solutions can also use SMS and call-based reminders to encourage ageing patients to maintain healthy diets and manage their medications and treatment regimens. This type of personalised care could be particularly helpful for older patients, since research shows they generally feel better knowing that their care is being managed directly by their doctors.
Green Paper on Mobile Health, European Commission, 2014
Telemedicine, Opportunities and developments in Member States, World Health Organization, 2010, Global Observatory for eHealth series—Volume 2
Socio-economic impact of mHealth, An assessment report for the European Union, June 2013, pwc/GSMA
Spotlight on Prevention: When, Who and How?
Unhealthy lifestyles and lack of physical activity are key factors in the development of chronic diseases. Early prevention and diagnosis, better education, and above all collaboration among governments, patient organizations, and industry are crucial to prevent chronic diseases from arising.