The hope is that it will become very helpful part of the treatment of chronic diseases.
In a considerable effort to slash health care costs, the E.U. Commission is now placing its support behind the use of eHealth and mHealth technologies and applications, particularly when it comes to their uses for the treatment of chronic illnesses.
The European Commissioner for Health has now made a call for an improved use of technology in the sector.
The Commissioner, Tonio Borg, is hoping to be able to promote an improved use of electronic and mobile technology and resources in the health sector. He spoke in Athens, Greece, at the eHealth Forum 2014 and stated that technologies such as mhealth apps for smartphones and tablets, digital prescriptions services (also known as e-prescriptions), and telemedicine are all types of tools that can help to expand the use and benefit of electronic health.
Among the primary strengths of mhealth that he identified was in the area of improved monitoring.
The use of electronic and mobile health tools such as apps on smartphones can provide patients with a larger number of options. These can be quite helpful when it comes to being able to effectively monitor chronic diseases.
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One of the examples of mobile health tools that is already underway is one of the four projects that has received E.U. funding: Mobiguide. Its purpose is to create a sensible support system for decision making by patients who suffer from chronic diseases. It is currently available in its trial version and it is geared specifically toward individuals who have diabetes or some form of heart disease, such as hypertension (high blood pressure) or cardiac dysrhythmia.
To use the MobiGuide, patients use wearable technology sensors that are capable of monitoring certain biological signals, such as blood pressure and heart rate. The collected data is then transmitted to the patient’s smartphone and when that device is connected to the internet, the information is sent into a central computer which then returns advice to the patient based on his or her own unique historical clinical data.
Among the recommendations that can be made by this mhealth system include changes to lifestyle, the recommendation that a healthcare provider be contacted, or even the contact details of a local care provider.