Cambridge University & China Mobile launch free mHealth report

With a fascinating foreword by Mr. Wang Jianzhou, Chairman, China Mobile (the worlds largest telecommunications operator), Professor Ian Leslie, Simon Sherrington, Dr Nick Gray and Ms Tao-Tao Chang at Cambridge University have produced a free 120 page study of “Mobile Communications for Medical Care“.

Some thoughts I had reading the report

1) The authors have defined mHealth as:

“An mHealth service or application involves voice or data communication for health purposes between a central point and remote locations. It includes telehealth (or eHealth) applications if delivery over a mobile network adds utility to the application. It also includes the use of mobile phones and other devices as platforms for local health-related purposes as long as there is some use of a network”

I’d disagree with this as I understand mobile as the newest mass media. Not all mHealth needs remote voice/data communication eg. Medhand’s Dr Companion can be loaded (via an insertable SD Card) into a wide range of smartphones. When used in rural Africa or in a London Underground tunnel where there is no network coverage, this provides a clinician with instant access to a comprehensive clinical library.

2) The report includes an interesting profile on 3G Doctor (Page 50):

And although none of this detracts from the quality of this fine report, for clarity I think it’s worth making 3 small points here:

i) The 3G Doctor service only requires native apps (eg. web browser, voice/video phone) and doesn’t require any app to be downloaded/used and as such obviously patient fees aren’t paid/shared with App Developer(s) as indicated in the diagram.

ii) The report suggests that 3G Doctor has “limited applicability in emerging markets” owing to the fact that we use the 3G/Facetime video calling to connect patients & Doctors, and these technologies aren’t yet widely adopted in emerging markets. I think it’s worth making clear that we offer the service in the UK and Ireland where more than 20 million customers already have 3G Video Mobiles and 3G connectivity. If the service was to be offered in emerging markets (it’s not currently offered outside UK/Ireland because of medicolegal reasons) it would be easy to simply substitute this with universally available voice calls making it accessible on billions of mobiles across the globe.

iii) Always remember that todays smartphone is tomorrows feature phone: 3G, forward facing cameras and video calling services can already be found on a range of low cost feature phones.

3) Some incredibly indepth research and analysis of the mHealth marketplace has gone into the production of this report and it offers one of the most comprehensive lists of profiles/links to interesting mHealth services, projects and concepts that I’ve ever seen:

3G Doctor: Mobile Video Consultations
AED Satellite: LTC support systems
Aetna: Primary health advice by phone
Alere/Monica AN24 wireless foetal-maternal monitor
AT&T Fall-Prevention wireless slippers
Autism interaction via mobile devices
Bayer Didget: blood glucose monitoring games
CalorieCounter & Diet Tracker
Cardiocom pulse oximeter
CardioNet: lifestyle advice
CardioTrainer: mobile fitness app for Android smartphones
ChildCount+: mHealth platform
Cinterion/Philips Respironics System One Sleep Therapy Device
Coordinated mHealth action in disasters
Diabediario: diabetes self management tool
Digital pen and paper
DIMA Dietary Intake Monitoring Application
Disease outbreak response
Disposable Malaria Biosensor
D-Tree International diagnostic tool
Eastern Cape Health Call Centre: primary health advice
eHealth record access validation platform
Elpas Enhanced RTLS Nurse Call System
Emergency care LifeComm PERS
Entra MyGlucoHealth: Bluetooth connected glucose monitor
Epothecary: drug pedigree tracking
eSTI2: STI diagnosis by mobile phones
Exmobaby Wireless Pyjamas: wireless-enabled baby clothes
Fonemed: primary health advice by phone
Food and exercise motivational mobile phone app
Freedom HIV/AIDS: mobile-based games
FrontlineSMS: free group SMS service
HealthFrontier ecgAnywhere device
Healthline: primary health advice by phone
HealthPartners/Diversinet MobiSecure platform
HMRI: Phone consultation and counselling
iFitness: iPhone fitness app
iMonSys Verity: mobile phone and monitor for fall prevention
iMPak Health Pain Journal
Integrated Healthcare Information Service through Mobile telephony (IHISM) project
iPLATO patient care messaging
iPro2 continuous glucose monitor
iQuit: iPhone smoking cessation app
M2M Diabetes self-management trial
MAHI Mobile Access to Health Information
Management tool for CHF sufferers
mCare: case management of reintegrated soldiers
mDhil: SMS & web based healthcare information
MedApps HealthPAL
MedicareBlue PPO hospital/physician locator
MedStar Health Information: primary health advice by phone
Medtronic M-Link cellular implanted cardiac devices
Mental Health tracking mobile diary
mHealth Initiative Inc
Microsoft Digital Inclusion Project
MiQuit: smoking cessation feasibility trial
Mobile4Good: SMS Health Promotion
Mobile Direct Observation Treatment (MDOT)
Mobile drug adherence platform
Mobile MedlinePlus
Mobile phone based microscopy accessory
Mobile phone eye testing accessory (aberrometer)
Mobile web based Tobacco Quitline
Nacer: maternal and child health data management system
National Health Call Centre Network/HealthDirect
NHS Alcohol Tracker iPhone app
NHS Direct: primary health advice by phone
Nokia Data Gathering Project
Orange Smartnumbers: phone transfer service
PatientKeeper: multi-device patient information platform
Pfizer Epocrates iPhone app
Pregnancy Tracker
Project Masiluleke: HIV awareness
Proteus Smart Pills UK trial
ResultsSMS: SMS result delivery system
RunKeeper: activity monitoring iPhone app
Rural breast screening project
Sana Mobile
Sikker Baby Monitor: baby health monitor
SIMsystem smart incontinence detection pants
Smartphone-based foetal monitors
Smartphone-based ultrasound probes
Smartphone oximeter
SmartTrack Drugs Tracking
SMS appointment reminders
Sproxil: SMS drug authentication service
SubQore implantable radio for device monitoring
Symptom MD: self diagnosis tool for smartphones
Tap and Track, Calorie, Weight and Exercise Tracker
Teledoctor: primary health advice by phone
Telehealth Ontario
Telemed concept: primary health advice by phone
Telemedic: primary health advice by phone
Telemed (Puerto Rico): primary health advice by phone
Text4Baby: free SMS info service
Text to Change: HIV/AIDS awareness
ThinkLabs heart/lungs visualiser for digital stethoscope
TRACnet: HIV patient information
UNICEF/Georgia: HIV/AIDS mobile video
VaxTrak: Mobile biometric vaccination registry
Vidanet: HIV education/advice
Voxiva Health Watch
WebMD Mobile: self diagnosis tool for smartphones
Wellcore Personal Emergency Response Medical Alert System
WellDoc Chronic Illness Management/Patient Coach
Weltel: SMS antiretroviral medication adherence
World Vision

For further information about the project please contact Dr Nick Gray, Project Manager, at

If you would like to attend a free mHealth webinar being held in May by the reports authors please click this link and complete the registration form.

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2 Responses to Cambridge University & China Mobile launch free mHealth report

  1. Pingback: mHealth Webinar: 1400 GMT, Thurs 19 May « mHealth Insight: the blog of 3G Doctor

  2. Pingback: Cambridge University & China Mobile mHealth Report update « mHealth Insight: the blog of 3G Doctor

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