Sunday, February 28, 2010

iPhone changes mobile health applications landscape

In the first 18 months since the iPhone was released it has completely changed the impact of mobile health applications on health care system, according to an article written by Mike Kirkwood, a specialist in enterprise systems.

The post was written following his attendance of the mHealth initiative conference in Washington D.C. Kirkwook noted that "mobile and wireless health applications directly impact the individual's health and have the promise of ensuring that when a patient leaves a doctor visit, they don't become "lost" in the system. It allows consumers to be engaged with health and wellness in their daily lives and connect back to their health care provider."

Dr. Mohit Kaushal, health care director for the National Broadband Taskforce, said at the conference that mHealth industry is facing several key challenges including: 
  • The US needs to invest in infrastructure to meet the growing needs of a mobile-enabled population.
  • Spectrum must be allocated (or reallocated) to meet the needs and the right areas of growth.
  • Regulations need to be designed to maximize incentives for innovation in care delivery.
  • There must be reimbursement incentives and viable business models for companies to succeed in delivering profitable services. In the health care system, we know that fee for service doesn't work nearly as well as an outcome based approach for delivery of health, rather than more procedures.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Remote monitoring can save $200 billion a year in healthcare costs for OECD and BRIC countries

The adoption of remote monitoring solutions can lead to saving some $175-200 billion in annual healthcare costs for managing chronic diseases in OECD and BRIC countries, according to a new report.

The report was issued by global management consultancy firm McKinsey, and the GSMA, an association of mobile operators and other companies active in the mobile industry.

The figures were released as part of the Embedded Mobile initiative, a program designed to accelerate the global adoption of wireless connectivity in a wide range of devices in key vertical markets such as healthcare, consumer electronics, automotive and utilities.

As part of the plan, the GSMA has formed a partnership with the Continua Health Alliance, a non-profit, open industry organization of healthcare and technology companies, to promote innovation and drive the use of embedded mobile solutions in healthcare.

Alex Sinclair, Chief Technology and Strategy Officer at the GSMA, said that the rise in the number of connected devices will lead to a reduction in the cost of innovative healthcare solutions.

The GSMA said the move, which emphasizes the important role embedded mobile technology will play in healthcare, will grow and promote the global mHealth sector.

The organization said that the mobile industry can contribute substantially to improving the accessibility of healthcare systems around the world, as well as helping to reduce costs, by providing solutions to diagnose disease, monitor patient health and intervene ahead of acute events.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Telehealth equipment market seen surging by more than 700% until 2012

The global telehealth equipment market will grow by more than 700 percent in the next four years, according to a report published by research company InMedica, which specializes in the medical devices industry.

Analyst Neha Khandelwal, forecasts that the market will grow to some $900 million by 2013 from only $123.3 million in 2009.

Remote patient monitoring is targeted at three main groups:
  • People who are ageing independently
  • Patients suffering from chronic diseases
  • Worried well people
The report, which is based on interviews with leading industry executives, indicates that the population of each group is set to increase raising the potential demand for remote patient monitoring.

InMedica said that the combined unit shipments of home-telehealth devices (digital blood-glucose meters, blood pressure monitors, weight scales, pulse oximeters and peak flow meters) were estimated to be around 155 thousand. By 2013, the unit shipments are expected to grow to over 1.6 million.

According to InMedica the following factors are driving the growth and introduction of telehealth in the healthcare industry:
  • Ageing population
  • The burden of chronic diseases
  • Increasing prevalence of chronic diseases
  • Increasing public expectations for standard of care
  • Spiraling costs of healthcare
  • Government initiatives to control rising healthcare costs
  • Success of large-scale telehealth trials
  • High-profile working group
  • Progress in regions other than the US

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Mobile Health to take center stage at 2010 Mobile World Congress

The Mobile Health (mHealth) field is generating growing interest and is expected to play a major role at the upcoming 2010 GSMA Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain.

The world's leading mobile industry trade show, will showcase mHealth devices such as mobile phones, patient monitoring devices, PDA's and other wireless services. Aerotel Medical Systems, for example, will introduce at the show new innovative and affordable Personal Mobile Health solutions.

One indication to the importance the Mobile world Congress organizers give to the mobile health industry is the fact that the GSM Association intends to deliver a day-long conference program under the title: mHealth – Collaborating for Universal Care. The day will focus on the use of wireless networks to support health delivery. It includes a series of high-level presentations and seminar panels, which will take place on Thursday, February 18, 2010.

The attempt to bring together the healthcare and mobile fields is expected to attract representatives of major wireless operators and health and strategy companies.

David Aylward, Executive Director of the mHealth Alliance said that "the marriage of health with wireless is a win-win opportunity for the mobile industry, for health providers, and for everyone who cares about creating healthier communities."

Thursday, February 11, 2010

mHealth brings hope to the Developing World

Adopting mHealth (mobile health) technologies has the potential to transform health care in poor and low-income countries, according to the February 2010 issue of Health Affairs, a leading journal of health policy thought and research.

The different articles indicate that by tapping modern information and communications technology it is possible to transform health and health care services in developing countries.

The reports constitute a broad review of the multiple e-health applications already in use in Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America. One of the articles - written by James G. Kahn, Joshua S. Yang, and James S. Kahn from the University of California, San Francisco - indicates that mobile technologies are widely available and can play an important role in health care at the regional, community, and individual levels.

The authors note that developing countries face steady growth in the prevalence of chronic diseases, along with a continued burden from communicable diseases. They write that innovative applications of mobile technology can simplify communication among researchers, clinicians and patients and offer care strategies for dealing with chronic diseases.

The article claims that the integrated nature of mHealth systems “offers improved communication, access to diagnostic tools and ability to store and access personal medical data in central repositories.” It can also, strengthen communication between individuals in a health care system, which can improve patient care coordination, allow exchanges of best practices and raise the quality patient care standards.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Mobile World Congress 2010 to highlight mHealth solutions

New innovative and affordable personal Mobile Health (mHealth) solutions will be taking center stage among the solutions that will be presented by Aerotel Medical Systems at the GSMA Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2010 in Barcelona, Spain.

One such product is the Mobile-CliniQ™, a mobile phone application that enables remote monitoring of various health parameters, such as electrocardiogram (ECG), blood pressure, blood glucose level, weight, etc.

Mobile-CliniQ can be connected via a Bluetooth® interface to external vital signs monitoring devices. Data is transmitted via General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) to a medical monitoring center. By using it, physicians can view patient data and provide interpretation and advice from practically anywhere, saving time and travel expenses, and reducing healthcare delivery costs.

Mobile-CliniQ and other remote monitoring and mobile solutions will be presented by Aerotel at booth 2C72 (Israel National Pavilion), at the MWC 2010.

The company also intends to showcase its new Connect-CELL, a Cellular-Based Homecare Data Hub. It is a highly flexible global wireless connectivity hub, enabling users to easily transmit vital signs data via the cellular network (GPRS) to a central monitoring center. The flexible device incorporates both wired serial interface and wireless Bluetooth connectivity.