M-applications have a really wide range of applications and one of them is m-health. How is it possible to link health and technology? As Aylward words it, “cell phones can’t save lives, [but] the lack of information does kill” (1). This short article will mention several aspect of m-health project that can help to work towards “improving and extending health care to remote and underserved areas and vulnerable populations” (AL 7, paragraph 18).
By looking at the range of projects available in mHealth, the first striking point is that they are conducting all over the world and that they concern a wide different range of topics. Applications include remote monitoring so that patients are reminded to take their medicine, epidemic outbreak tracking, data gathering, computing of drug dosage, awareness raising, or even receiving advice (3).
SMS for Life, one of the first initiatives concerning m-Health, was widely covered in the media. The service sends an SMS when the stock of vaccination available again malaria in rural areas reaches a certain threshold, so that they never run out of stock (3). Since then, the number of projects concerning m-Health has grown drastically. Numerous website can be found which list extensively a series of different projects in these domains, and here are just a few given as example:
Competitions to develop m-Health projects and to gain funding also exist, and the finalists for the Wireless Innovation Project and mHealth Alliance Award organized by Vodafone Americas Foundation have just recently been announced in September 2010 (4).
Today is also the start of the mHealth Summit 2010 in Washington DC which is due to last three days. Some conferences are planned to be about the use of really new technologies by the health system, such as could computing (5). News about the summit will follow up throughout its development!
To what extent do you think m-Health will impact the health industry? Is it reasonable to expect more development coming from m-Health than from e-Health?
Thank you for sharing your comments with us!
1. http://www.wilsoncenter.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=events.event_summary&event_id=637160. [Online]
2. mHealth for Devlopment. United Nations Foundation, Vodafone Foundation.
3. http://www.developingtelecoms.com/ibm-novartis-a-vodafone-combat-malaria-in-africa-through-sms.html. [Online]
4. http://ehealthserver.com/research-and-development/637-vodafone-americas-foundation-announce-call-for-entries-for-annual-wireless-innovation-project-and-mhealth-alliance-award. [Online]
5. http://www.mhealthsummit.org/conference/program/cloud-enhancing-health-research-data-possibilities. [Online]
6. http://www.bjhcim.co.uk/news/2010/n1008018.htm. [Online]