Monday, November 22, 2010

Science Journal: mHealth brings hope to chronic disease patients

The usage of mobile devices equipped with Internet and social media capabilities presents real opportunity to enhance chronic disease prevention and management, according to a report published by Science Journal.

The authors, Deborah Estrin and Ida Sim note that chronic diseases including diabetes, asthma, and obesity account for 46% of global disease burden.

They call for a public-private partnership to define and instantiate open mHealth architecture in order to support medical discovery and evidence based practice.

The main argument is that the development and treatment of chronic diseases usually takes place outside of traditional clinical settings. mHealth allows patients to collect and share relevant data with their medical staff at any given time allowing more rapid convergence to optimal treatment.

The report concludes that standardized interfaces and shared components are critical for realizing the full potential of mobile health care delivery and research.

"Government, commercial, and nongovernmental entities involved in health IT and innovation should cooperate to define and instantiate architecture, governance, and business models and to steer initial mHealth investments into open architecture," Estrin and Sim wrote.

"open mHealth architecture may encourage innovation by easing application development. Shared standards and reusable components may enable rapid authoring, integration, and evaluation of personal data capture for clinical care and research. Hospitals, accountable care organizations and public health practitioners could mix and match from a rich, flexible set of data acquisition and analysis components".

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