Mobile Solutions for Managing Health Care

Mobile Solutions for Managing Health Care

Esko Alasaarela (University of Oulu, Finland), Ravi Nemana (360Fresh, Inc., USA), Steven DeMello (University of California - Berkeley, USA), Nick S. Oliver (Imperial College, UK) and Masako Miyazaki (University of Alberta, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-183-6.ch009
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Abstract

Wirhe project is an international collaborative study that focused on the future of healthcare needs, technology requirements and solutions for effective use of wireless platform for health care delivery. In this chapter, the authors present results of a Wirhe survey of 85 experts and individual interviews with 35 experts. The authors asked their opinions on the current status of adopting wireless equipment in health care, unmet needs in serving hospital in-patients and outpatients, and their views on the incorporation of wireless platform for future health care delivery and personal health management. Key findings are that 1) both remarkable quality improvements and process enhancements can be expected from thoroughly utilizing the wireless technologies and mobile solutions, 2) integration of personal health monitoring and professional health management is a key issue to be addressed and 3) health promotion and illness prevention will grow by utilizing mobile solutions. As a result of this study, they propose a framework that can be used in developing wireless health care solutions for managing diseases and related health problems. It can also be used to structure and stratify the needs by importance and utility, to anticipate which technologies and solutions are needed next, and to estimate how large the market size may be for industries.
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Introduction

Healthcare is a large industry that spends globally USD 6 trillion per year (in 2008). The US alone spent USD 2.3 trillion on health care in 2007, and spending was growing at a rate of 8 percent annually (Kalorama, 2007). According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, healthcare spending in the U.S.A. will remain between 17 and 18 percent of the GDP until 2015 (http://www.astm.org/Standards/E2369.htm). The health record system has to communicate both with people and machines, and simultaneously maintain the high privacy and security of people’s health data.

An IBM research team (Adams et al., 2006) summarizes the challenges of the world’s health care this way: “Change must be made; the choices left to the stakeholders of today’s health care systems are when and how. If they wait too long to act or do not act decisively enough, their systems could ’hit the wall‘ – in other words, be unable to continue on the current path – and then, require immediate and major forced restructuring.”

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