The second instalment of our series of Insights Guides focuses on identifying the barriers to mHealth adoption in the political and economic environment. The guide delivers insights into the policy themes affecting mHealth development and explores challenges facing mHealth from a funding perspective.
The guide covers three key topics:
A changing world: as mobile access begins to be the rule rather than the exception, the need for strong policies to avoid duplication of effort and interoperability is becoming ever more urgent.
The three pillars of mHealth policy: Globally, telemedicine and mHealth policy is still in its infancy, which policy themes can be distinguished for having the largest impact on mHealth development?
Following the money: funding incentives- and disincentives - mHealth must
be properly funded and incentivised, where to start?
Through contributions from industry experts we pull together different perspectives and insights to create a comprehensive view of the range of policy and funding barriers to mHealth adoption.
Australia was among the first countries to grasp the potential of telemedicine – and before the age of the internet. Government archives record the case of a postmaster in Halls Creek Western Australia who, in 1917, followed instructions telegraphed in Morse code by a surgeon in Perth to perform an operation on a stockman who had sustained serious internal injuries after falling from his horse.
As the country that invented the BlackBerry it comes as no surprise that Canada is leading the world in testing the clinical benefits of mHealth applications. The University of British Columbia Centre for Disease Control (UBC CDC) is running a research project from 2012 to 2014 examining the influence of mobile phones and SMS text messaging on patients with latent tuberculosis infections. Specifically, it will gauge the effects of regular SMS messages on how closely patients follow their prescribed treatment plans.
A network of community-nurse-led "courtyard shelters" has been established across India to try to tackle child malnutrition. But in challenging circumstances of large populations and remote rural areas, accurate clinical record-keeping is a major problem. The use of smartphones to gather data can help lift the bureaucratic burden, and costs compare favourably. Training can be a further challenges, but solutions such as voice recognition and text message reminders for health appointments can help shift the barriers.
One of the main attractions of mHealth applications for patients, carers and healthcare providers is they can offer an alternative to long hospital stays. A new study in the Spanish region of Catalonia is aiming to assess these benefits for 300 patients as part of an integrated care programme, comparing them to conventional care for clinical outcomes; user satisfaction; economic viability; and organisational impact.
Vodafone mHealth Solutions’ head of business development, Tony Kane, describes the main market barriers facing the mobile health revolution. This podcast was recorded by the World Congress in advance of the 8th Annual World Health Care Congress (WHCC) – Europe, which will take place on the 23rd – 24th of May in Amsterdam. As part of the event, Vodafone will run a main stage panel presentation and a Health Debate seminar, both supporting the launch of this second Vodafone Insights Guide.
This Insights Guide is the second instalment of a series of guides that support Vodafone's continuing commitment to developing thought leadership in healthcare. Through these guides, we will bring together more expert views covering the different barriers to the adoption of new digital technologies in mHealth.
The views and insights in this guide provide conclusions that can be used as hypotheses to drive future discussion at our regular Health Debates.
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