Touchscreens transform mobile for older people
He says the mobile health industry has developed enormously over the last three years, with mobile telecommunications being a real game changer. He adds: "the first is the advent of touchscreen devices, which transforms the accessibility of mobile for older people - who are the main beneficiaries of remote monitoring. Being able to use mass-market rather than specialist devices has obvious cost advantages. The second is the way this will enable new health apps, allowing innovators to come up with truly novel services that can draw on information from a range of different devices and data sources."
Transforming clinical practices
According to George MacGinnis, despite the fact that regulatory barriers are still preventing the rapid uptake of mobile technologies across the healthcare sector, mHealth is still playing a transformative role in both clinical practice and patient engagement.
He explains: "to consider the first, clinical practice, where jobs are about moving around and delivering services in a community, a major issue is that health apps are not mobile friendly. One of the exciting developments is a drive toward the opening up of healthcare record apps, exposing the data within them so that apps can be designed which are completely mobile friendly - and enable all the benefits of mobile to be placed into the hands of clinicians in the field."
He continues: "when considering the potential for patient engagement, it is important that the patient's interaction with healthcare is supported by mobile health. While you may be enthusiastic about measuring your blood pressure, it only becomes real when you can put a chart in front of your doctor and ask 'what can we do together?' Both of these moves rely on establishing effective interoperability between health applications."
While there is a huge need around chronic disease management in both emerging and developed economies, one often finds that emerging economies offer a fresh approach to disease management. As George notes: "I think we will see mobile services emerging from regions like the Gulf, India, China and South America being re-imported into the older developed economies - where professional structures and regulations, established insurance practices and other factors are arguably holding back the potential for mobile health."
More Mobile Health Global speaker highlights at the Connected World Forum include:
- Dr Husnia Sadat, Head of Health Financing, Government of Afghanistan
- Tikki Gee, Ministry of Health, Government of Singapore
- Dr N. Ndwapi, Office of Strategy Management, Ministry of Health, Government of Botswana
- Dr Abo Ismail Foshanji, mHealth Project Coordinator, Ministry of Health, Government of Afghanistan
- Santanu Biswas, Director of eHealth Services, du
- Dr Zakiuddin Ahmed, National Coordinator for Telemedicine and eHealth, Ministry of Health, Government of Pakistan
- Bleddyn Rees, Director, European Connected Health Alliance
The Connected World Forum consists of three separate streams: Mobile Health, Mobile Money and Mobile Life.