Mobile Technologies and the Right to Health: Current Situation and Future Perspectives

Mobile Technologies and the Right to Health: Current Situation and Future Perspectives

Sebastiano Nucera (University of Messina, Italy), Marco Centorrino (University of Messina, Italy), Alessandra Anastasi (University of Messina, Italy), Giuliano Tardivo (University King Juan Carlos, Spain) and Josephine Condemi (University of Messina, Italy)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-6939-8.ch013

Abstract

Mobile health describes the supply of medical assistance services through mobile communication devices. We are witnessing a significant increase in demand for technologies and m-health applications. Apart from producing relevant improvements in life quality, the launch of platforms facilitating the transition between doctors, consumers, and companies operating within the biological science sector has led us to a community-based health, which is assimilated in the daily lives of consumers. The widespread use of devices and the rapid access to health assistance are an opportunity to revolutionize the industry. Thanks to mobile technologies capable of implementing the ubiquitous health, the right to health becomes real, which in turn allows a high-quality healthcare supply with reduced costs.
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1. Introduction

The progressive development of wearable and mobile technologies has certainly changed in a profound way not only the routines of everyday life but also the very way of understanding and perceiving health and one's own body. Mobile technologies, in particular, as highlighted by the latest WHO report, constitute a rapidly expanding technological domain that redefines core concepts in health sciences such as monitoring, prevention, and prediction. In confirmation of this, in 2016 alone, HITs (Health Information Technologies) received Venture Capital financing of over 5 billion dollars (Source: Mercom Capital/Statista 2018). On the same trends, the market for wearable technologies is growing with areas of specialization towards the production of devices with more accurate measurements and new features (Source: International Data Corporation, 2018).

Other works (Nucera et al., 2014; Centorrino & Nucera, 2016; Centorrino & Nucera, 2017) described how the economies related to these technological domains are totally restructuring access to information (including healthcare) and knowledge (where we also include phenomena such as e-coaching, e-mentoring, self-monitoring). This market, which as we have seen shows very positive trends, according to the studies that we will examine, can also have a very strong impact in terms of access to health.

As noted by Cavicchi (2006), the right to health must not be confused with aspects that have to do with prevention. At least, not everything ends with prevention itself. According to the author himself, in fact, this right is to be understood as “a synthesis between rights and duties, freedom, and equality, participation and governability” (Cavicchi, 2006, p. 53). Within this framework, new technologies have certainly designed an entirely new way of understanding this right. In particular, if E-Health has restructured the ways of using electronic information to implement and enhance both health and health care, M-Health, in parallel, has provided the technological structure through which to create new opportunities in terms of well-being and, more generally, in terms of individual and social health.

Key Terms in this Chapter

m-Health: A product of E-Health, which is a medical-health practice founded essentially on the use of mobile technologies such as mobile phones or tablets. M-Health provides for the implementation of some specific mobile technologies in order to make some medical care more accessible to individuals who need it services.

Wearable Technologies: Non-invasive electronic devices, worn on the human body with different operational performances used for different purposes such as monitoring of patient health.

E-Health: A health strategy / practice based on IT tools to optimize the relationship between doctor and patient. We could define e-Health as the use of different types of technologies born with the aim of supporting health services.

Ubiquitous Health Technologies: All technologies able to create architectures and sensitive human computer interaction that underpin ubiquitous computing health related.

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