Smart devices and the Internet of Things will change healthcare forever



Mobility and the benefits of mobile access to information and services, along with the Internet of Things and its ability to automatically gather vast amounts of contextual data, are now high on the agenda of many organizations across the world. In health, they will enable the remote monitoring of patients. This will, among other things, reduce hospital visits, enable early indications of problems, and provide individuals with greater insight into their state of health.

The European Commission has recently launched a consultation on mobile health. mHealth,
according to the European Union’s executive body, allows mobile devices – including smart phones, PDAs, smart watches and other body-worn devices or implants – to monitor and collect health data more efficiently, allowing quicker and better treatment and increased prevention. Running from April 10 until July 3, 2014, the consultation solicits comments on barriers to mHealth and other potential issues.

The health data collected might include information on health signs such as heart rate, blood sugar levels or body temperature; or lifestyle, such as calories consumed or even activity levels.

Doctors could use the data to improve diagnosis or treatment, or the patient could use it to help them to be more proactive about managing their fitness and healthcare.

Monitoring does not just benefit individuals – whether patients or not – it also provides substantial benefits to health service providers. While proactive healthcare will increase prevention and reduce the burden on healthcare systems, easily accessible information will save healthcare professionals a considerable amount of valuable time.

Image from the European Commission
Image from the European Commission

The Commission estimates there are already more than six billion mHealth wireless subscriptions worldwide and more than 97,000 mHealth apps available. By 2017, it reckons that over half of the 3.4 billion smartphone owners worldwide will use health apps.

With 30% of a global market worth EUR 17.6 billion forecast for 2017, mHealth is a fast-growing business in Europe. This consultation is part of a process to:

  • Raise awareness of the legal framework among health manufacturers
  • Increase interoperability between healthcare systems in the European Union
  • Improve data protection and trust
  • Ensure the safety of mHealth apps

How do you feel about mHealth, the vast amounts of personal data that will be collected, and how that data could be used?

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Welcome to the #SafeMotherhood Programme

The week of 16-19 May 2016 was an important week for girls and women throughout the world with the hosting Women Deliver's 4th Global Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. It was also a milestone for our Motherhood Projects which incorporate the Alliance for Maternal Health Equality (AMHE), Safe Motherhood Week (SMW) and the Pregnancy and Medicine Initiative (PMI).

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