Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Improving wellbeing through mobile devices

Last week the European Commission launched a consultation on mHealth (mobile health). The idea to use mobile devices to improve wellbeing of Europeans is not a new one, bus has not yet been given full regulatory support in the EU. In 2012 the European Commission published its eHealth Action Plan 2012-2020 which already focused on the benefits of mobile health apps, but also identified their potential risks. (Healthcare of the 21st century: digital) Upon announcement of the Green Paper on mHealth, the stakeholders may now respond by 3 July 2014 to the mHealth initiative (incl. Staff Working Document on the existing EU legal framework applicable to lifestyle and wellbeing apps). It is estimated that at the moment ca 100.000 mHealth apps are already available to EU citizens (through iTunes, Google Play, etc.) and if the full potential of this medium is used then in 2017 ca. €99 billion in healthcare costs in the EU could be saved. (What mHealth can do for you) The Commission needs to consider whether to further regulate on the EU level requirements with regards to the safety and performance of mHealth apps, how to ensure medical data safety and how best to promote this sector. (Healthcare in your pocket: unlocking potential of mHealth)

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