Assessing Mobile Applications Considered Medical Devices

Assessing Mobile Applications Considered Medical Devices

Alexandra Queirós, Anabela G. Silva, Alina Ferreira, Hilma Caravau, Margarida Cerqueira, Nelson P. Rocha
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9978-6.ch010
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The World Health Organization has defined mHealth as “medical and public health practice supported by mobile devices, such as mobile phones, patient monitoring devices, personal digital assistants, and other wireless devices” (WHO, 2010). Therefore, mHealth deals with the use of mobile communication devices, such as smartphones or tablets to support health services (Mosa et al., 2012), both in terms of disease and wellbeing management.

The actual computing landscape includes massive numbers of mobile devices that gather and store information. Since current smartphones are fairly robust, truly pervasive, provide ubiquitous user interfaces and have the ability to collect, store and communicate information, they are considerable relevant to mHealth.

Healthcare services involve multiple locations (e.g. clinics, outpatient’s services or patients’ homes) they are highly mobile in nature (Mosa et al., 2012). This means mHealth might support communication and collaboration among different health professionals. Smartphones and other mobile devices are being used to perform mobile diagnostic tests, to access Electronic Health Records (EHR) and other patient information, to support decisions related to drugs prescription, to perform medical calculations or literature search, or to provide new means of medical education and teaching, among other activities.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Validity: Relates to whether the measurement device is measuring what it is intended to.

Clinical Usefulness: Refers as to whether using the application results in any benefit for the patient as for example more accurate diagnosis or more appropriate care.

Reliability: Relates to the consistency of repeated measurements.

Usability: Relates to user interfaces ease of use.

Medical Devices: any instrument, apparatus, appliance, software, material or other article, whether used alone or in combination, together with any accessories, including the software intended by its manufacturer to be used specifically for diagnosis and/or therapeutic purposes and necessary for its proper application.

M-Health (or mHealth): A component of eHealth, that covers medical and public health practice supported by mobile devices.

Application: A type of software designed to run on a mobile device.

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