Oxford University to host “Smartphones as Saviours?” mHealth seminar (FREE & Live Webcast)

Oxford Martin School University of Oxford mHealth Smartphones as Saviours

As part of the Oxford Martin School Hilary Term seminar series on ‘Blurring the lines: the changing dynamics between man and machine’ this meeting will be led by Fred Hersch and Gari Clifford who are James Martin Fellows at The George Institute for Global Health at the Oxford Martin School.

The event is free to attend (register here) and will be webcast live here at 1530pm (London) on the 6th February 2014.

I look forward to watching the meeting webcast and joining in with the twitter chat using the #humantech hashtag.

A few thoughts I had about the content of the seminar:

Cheap, accessible and easy to use, mobile phones are everywhere. With the advent of the smartphone has come a new kind of healthcare – M:Health – in which mobiles are playing a key role in monitoring and improving the health of communities around the globe

I think it’s critically important that we don’t fall for this illusion that smartphones created mHealth. Of course Smartphone apps are great but they weren’t the starter gun for mHealth. In reality successful mHealth apps were with us long before smartphones and even today the majority of mHealth is still delivered through the native apps used by 6 billion citizens.

Considering the seminar is a part of a series on ‘Blurring the lines: the changing dynamics between man and machine’ it’s also surprising that there’s no mention of the value that mobile connected machines (m2m) are contributing eg. read here about Telcare’s mobile embedded glucometer.

I also think it’s better to think of smartphones as being ‘low cost’ rather than ‘cheap’. This distinction is important because it’s largely as a result of high tech and mass production volumes and not cheapness that they’re available at such affordable price points.

Linking remote communities in developing countries with professional healthcare, mobile phones are helping break down long-standing barriers to accessing treatment. Use of M:Health is also growing in developed countries, helping patients to monitor and manage their own health, thereby reducing pressure on health services

Click this link to download a great free paper from Cambridge University (commissioned by China Mobile – the world’s biggest mobile operator) that provides some great background reading on this public health opportunity.

**** UPDATE ****

Video recording of the talks:

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