More than 80 percent of U.S. doctors surveyed use mobile apps or view professional content on mobile devices for work. That’s a significant increase over t
I’m not sure what the writer here considers mobile health, it reads more like local health on a mobile device. That’s old as the hills. When we launched the first Cassiopeia a Windows CE device with full keyboard back in the 1990’s we helped develop a pilot for bedside research for patients presenting with potential infectious diseases in an Auckland hospital. Think Ebola, Bird Flu and the many other diseases that we try to isolate ourselves from, especially in a country like New Zealand.
That’s a mobile health app, but it was only used inside the hospital. In order to communicate the data it received, it had to be connected to a computer where the data was synchronized and fed into the system for analysis, or to a modem at 9.6 or 14.4 on the Telecom CDPD network. It was valuable a and a precursor to the WiFi and 3G tablets later used from manufacturers such as Panasonic and Fujitsu to name a couple. These were and continue mostly to b used in-house and help reduce the risk of medical misadventure, sure as treating the wrong limb or accessing the wrong patients’ charts.
When I think of mobile health, I think of things like Telemedicine where people can be assisted anywhere in the world where they can access telecommunications. Here are a few brief examples:
1. In 1998 my friend Viktor Yazykov was sailing around the world competing in the Around Alone yacht race. He had to operate on his arm in his yacht in the middle of nowhere in stormy seas, guided by a surgeon with whom he swapped emails during the messy operation, via his satellite phone. That’s mobile health.You can see the video on YouTube.
2. A paramedic hooks a patient in the ambulance up to an ECG monitor and gets guidance from a surgeon or specialist as to how to treat the patient and what needs to be done before they are able to take the patient to hospital.
3. A diabetic patient has a wireless artificial pancreas which transmits the current glucose state to a mobile phone which then controls an insulin pump and provides the correct dose to the patient wirelessly. http://bit.ly/16gHD0M
4. Imagine a diabetic patient who is away on a trip, forgets to take the insulin and starts going into shock. Mobile health systems could allow them to push a button that connects them to emergency services and whether or not they are conscious, facilitates sending their current location to emergency services, where they either get guidance or insulin and a health care worker is on the way.
5. A doctor does his rounds via a combination of Skype and mobile telemetry medical testing equipment which chronic patients have in their home. Instead of having to be in hospital, they can have the comforts of home, but their vitals can be monitored anywhere, any time.
These are simple examples of things that have been happening for several years and continue to be developed today. However this story seems a bit far removed from that. This is the model that to me reduces the stress and overcrowding of hospitals, reduces the number of medical accidents and incidents, saves lives and gives people lifestyle.
With computers in our phones today that are more powerful than the PC’s used in hospitals when I was working with them on the Casio Windows CE device, this technology can be used anywhere from an urban center to remote locations around the world as demonstrated by my tough friend Viktor.
I’m not sure what’s holding us back. It’s not for want of applications and technology and its not for cost.