Innovation in mHealth technology: Serving citizens and patients

mHealth technology
  • Global Mobile Health (mHealth) industry has shown a steady rise in the recent years. Studies have shown that 62% of the smartphone users use their mobile phone to track and monitor their health.
  • mHealth market was valued at USD 11.47 billion in 2014 and is expected to reach USD 102.43* billion by 2022, growing at a CAGR of at 5% between 2016 and 2022.
  • With the steep rise in people using their mobile devices to get health care services, stakeholders from all walks of life have agreed on the need of assessment of health care devices and applications by competent authorities.

Challenges in universally adopting mHealth technology

Mobile smart phones have been with us for almost a decade now. The share of Americans owning a smartphone has increased to 77% from a meager 35% in 2011. But, some challenges prevent mHealth technology from becoming the order of the day. Lately, the medical community and the users have been concerned with the issues of privacy and correctness of the data transmitted to health care systems.

DIGITALEUROPE is a Brussels-based community representing digital technology industry in Europe and has world’s largest IT, telecoms and consumer electronics companies to its members. Current ongoing initiatives by European Commission are ‘Privacy code of conduct for mHealth apps’ and ‘mHealth Data Assessment guidelines.’

Privacy code of conduct lays down the standards and directives which mHealth applications have to follow while designing their health care systems strictly. The code of conduct expects the app developers to ensure confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the personal data processed by their apps. A multi-stake holder governance model is followed to certify, police, monitor and enforce the code of conduct.

European Commission has drafted mHealth Data Assessment guidelines and has addressed the issue of individuals being unsure about the reliability of the data generated by an app. They have provided a guideline document with a questionnaire to assess the data that an app produces. The questions throw light on the validity, reliability, transparency, privacy, and effectiveness of the app.

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Why are regulations important for health care devices and applications?

The need for stricter regulations on health care applications has already been felt by the developers, doctors and patients alike. Personal Connected Health Alliance (PCHAlliance) publishes and promotes Continue Design Guidelines for the user-friendly, interoperable health data exchange in connected personal health. As the medical professionals tend to take decisions according to the data, we need to assess quality to ensure authenticity and integrity of the data.

European Commission has been working tirelessly to develop standards and guidelines to address the privacy concerns of the users as well as provide them a questionnaire to assess data provided by an app. It has proven difficult for the agencies to develop a sustainable business model in the field of health care which has delayed the whole process of mHealth revolutionizing the health care industry. mHealth technology is still in its infancy, and we are going to see more of its potential realized shortly.


Technologies Challenges Important organizations working in this domain
Mobile devices to track and monitor health. Android, iOS Applications. Lack of standards and guidelines to assess data generated by the app. Do not address Privacy concerns of the users. European Commission
Personal Connected Health Alliance


Alexander Whalen, Senior Policy Manager, Digital Europe, Brussels, Belgium

Dr. Stephan Schug, ZTG GmbH and Chief Medical Officer, EHTEL
Michael Strübin, Program Director Europe, Personal Connected Health Alliance

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Upload Date: 27th November 2016

Video code: 16R104


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