mHealth, key to ensuring the sustainability of the healthcare system

     January 30, 2014
    By Javier Garcia

    The communication technology revolution of recent years continues to uncover new areas of application and working methods to improve efficiency and service quality in numerous professions. The health, dependency and elderly care sectors stand to benefit the most from this innovation, even more so at a time when the economic crisis and increasing life expectancy threaten to jeopardize them.

    For some time we have seen ongoing developments in telecare and eHealth, which we are accustomed to discussing here, yet within the healthcare sector in which kwido actively participates, a new word has been gaining strength of late: mHealth.

    mHealth stands for mobile health, that being the practice of medicine supported by mobile devices. It constitutes an emerging sector of eHealth, linked not only to the development of smartphones, but also to the latest MP3 players, tablets and new telemedicine systems.

    The benefits of its use are numerous, both for patients in terms of empowerment, personal independence and improved adherence to pharmacological therapies; as well as for professionals in the healthcare sector, favouring efficiency, customized care and real-time information updates. Likewise, it allows families of the elderly or infirm to obtain information first hand through direct communication. In its entirety, it has the potential to improve the healthcare system by reducing waiting times thanks to the use of remote treatments, cutting costs by lowering hospital admissions and offering an individual service.

    The remote health monitoring and medication management services offered by Kwido are a good example of using mobile devices as the perfect complement to telecare, home care and health services. This is especially true in cases of chronically ill patients, whose situation should not be made worse by unnecessary transfers to run tests, for preventative hospitalization, or due to a lack of real time data.

    mHealth represents a new channel of communication between patients, caregivers, family members, doctors and pharmacists, in constant contact in order to offer the best possible service with the most efficient use of resources. Ultimately, it constitutes a participative form of innovation, in which all actors are able to contribute ideas for improvement and receive excellent service.