mHealth: History, Analysis, and Implementation

mHealth: History, Analysis, and Implementation

C. Peter Waegemann (Independent Consultant and Speaker, Berlin, Germany and Boston, USA)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9861-1.ch001
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mHealth systems have been maturing since 1995, yet there remains no common definition. The widest definition encompasses not only mobile devices and digital communication systems, but also the multitudes of apps and add-ons for those mobile devices and systems. Accordingly, mHealth is an indicator of emerging communication-based healthcare and an enabler of participatory health. mHealth implementation and user acceptance vary by geographical region. In the most advanced regions, mobile devices and new communication systems lead to disruptive changes that improve the quality of care and reduce healthcare costs. At the same time, providers and public authorities are challenged with designing and implementing mHealth policies and security measures. Ultimately, mHealth will change healthcare policies and procedures, the structures of healthcare, and the roles of patients and healthcare professionals.
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mHealth technologies are built on the ‘miracle’ of sending information through the air. Wireless transmission of information goes back almost 150 years when radio transmission was first envisioned, and the first patent for a ‘photophone’ was issued in 1880. The one-to-many wireless communication capability of the radio established it as a major information source during the first half of the 20th century, supplemented soon by TV services. The 20th century was the era of wired communication as telephones and telecommunication advanced.

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