The GSM Association has published its “Mobile Manifesto” explaining the vision for the European Mobile Industry and combining a series of commitments from the mobile industry with a promise to “put in place a long term strategy for mobile use in healthcare” and “provide confidence around investment for national health authorities”.
The organization claims it will be working “with governments to develop standards for the delivery of core healthcare services such as prescription provision to mobiles and appointment reminders”. The best suggestion I found in the document was the proposal for the EC to set targets for getting health and education services online across member states and ensure that all (existing and new) ePublic Services are mobile enabled. Here’s the paragraph on mHealth:
“Mobile delivery of eHealth
The European healthcare system faces tough challenges. The aging population is driving increased demand for healthcare services, the incidence of chronic disease (and health risks such as obesity) is rising, and interventions are often late and therefore expensive. This is set against a backdrop of high patient expectations and stable or declining budgets.
Mobile can leverage its unique capabilities to address these challenges. It can support the delivery of healthcare through telemedicine for the chronically ill and sending reminders to patients to take medication or go to a doctor’s appointment. It can also enable remote monitoring using machine-to-machine (M2M) technologies. Mobile can also support the secure storage and transfer of medical data from anywhere to anywhere. Such mobile applications can improve the efficiency and efficacy of healthcare, freeing up space and staff time in hospitals to focus on the most serious cases.”
The document mentions work of three US based mHealth companies (which is quite bizarre considering the success of mHealth companies here in Europe and the title of this paper as an “European” Manifesto) including AirStrip Technologies, Proteus Biomedical and the West Wireless Health Institute. It also reports some rather unconnected positive comments from “respondents” about the benefits of “mobile health diaries” and “3G Video Consults with a Doctor for busy professionals”:
“I’m currently being treated for migraines and the Doctor has asked me to keep a diary of when I get an attack and how severe it is. It would be good if I could track these attacks on a portable handset. Then the doctor could download the details of all my attacks at my next appointment”
“Provide quick doctors appointments via video conference for professionals stuck at work. A respondent noted: “Professional people will not have to waste time queuing to visit the doctor”‘