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
It’s clear that m-health has potential for improving patient outcomes and controlling costs. So what’s preventing it from developing faster? Currently, in the face of rapidly changing technologies, healthcare systems are struggling to create and implement frameworks that would allow m-health to really spread. All healthcare stakeholders would benefit from clear legal and regulatory frameworks and policies for the use and development of m-health apps, programmes and initiatives. There are four main barriers currently preventing m-health from reaching a fuller potential. Understanding of and enthusiasm for the prospects of m-Health is increasing. Yet, five main barriers remain to m-health initiatives being broadly and rapidly adopted.
M-health applications and programmes will need a coherent way to interact within and across diverse health systems with many languages and cultures in order for widespread adoption to occur. That means stakeholders at every level must work together to identify priorities and work together to achieve them. From policymakers at EU and national levels to m-health programme developers to physicians, communication and coordination will be essential to improving the interoperability of m-health apps and initiatives.
DATA PROTECTION AND PATIENT SAFETY
Once measured, recorded and exchanged, how can patients and healthcare providers be sure that confidential and personal medical data is protected from unauthorized distribution and use? And how can patients be certain that the more than 150,000 applications available are both safe to use and deliver on their promises?
To ensure optimal implementation and confidence in m-health, safety and security standards must be developed and agreed upon to protect data and patients.
ENSURING APPROPRIATE SOURCES OF FINANCING
Who will pay for m-health initiatives? Technology can be costly, between investments in devices and training for stakeholders and patients. In systems struggling to control costs, financing m-health is one of the most significant barriers to widespread implementation. Convincing policymakers of m-health’s potential will be the first step towards ensuring m-health gets appropriate financing.
TEACHING PATIENTS, HEALTHCARE STAKEHOLDERS ABOUT M-HEALTH BENEFITS
For m-health to develop to its full potential, education is key. Patients need to understand how m-health programmes work, feel confident that their data will be secure and their privacy respected and understand how to reap the benefits of m-health tools. Physicians, healthcare workers and hospital administrators would benefit from training and education on m-health programmes and the benefits they can produce for healthcare systems at every level.
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.