For health matters, we will soon look to our phones more than our doctors

Image | Jason Howie

Technology developers know the importance of well-being, and are now making a difference in an area where immediacy is critical: health. According to the consultancy BCC Research, in 2019 the market for telemedicine will be worth $24 billion – exceeding the expected profits of technology within hospitals.

Experts from the US firm predict that this growth will have a strong impact on the sectors of health, health insurance, patient care and telecommunications. Smartphones, tablets and smart watches are being converted into tools for measuring blood pressure, blood oxygen and other vital signs. Soon we will have access to information in our homes that could before only be obtained by going to the doctor’s office.

Playing a leading role in the rise of digital health are the companies Apple and Samsung. Last May, the Multimodal Interaction Architecture (SAMI) was introduced by the Korean company Samsung, and Apple introduced their own HealthKit only a week later. These are integrative platforms that store and process biometric data collected by sensors, which can then be interpreted by health applications.

For health matters, we will soon look to our phones more than our doctors

Image | Nicola

Startups are also taking the opportunity to create new apps and design ever more precise sensors. According to a report by Accenture Health, funding for these companies was around $10.2 billion between 2008 and 2013, and reached $3.5 billion in 2014. Most of this has been invested in data analysis and the integration of devices, although wearable devices, telemetry and patient monitoring have also been important.

The objective is for these health platforms to become a tool for health professionals. A person’s biometric data is part of their health history. Aside from being installed in the patient’s home and on their mobile, the telemetry can be transmitted to health centers where doctors can check a patient’s progress constantly.

The stored information will be accessible from any clinic or hospital. The technology will also help to streamline health services, and facilitate integrated treatment of chronic patients. Without having to go to a consultation, your doctor can see your progress – a not inconsiderable advantage for some overloaded health systems, and for many patients who will no longer have to endure long waits.

The mHealth competence centre forms part of Mobile World Capital Barcelona’s Programme of International Competence Centers (PCCI). mHealth works with a three-fold objective: to identify mobile technology opportunities in the provision of health services, to transform current healthcare models and processes, and promote the interoperability of health services in the field of mobile technologies and connectivity, building foundations that make it possible to integrate mobile health solutions.

Mobile World Capital presents a global vision that effectively integrates mobile technologies into the fabric of the industries transforming our lives. Committed to expanding the mobile experience throughout Barcelona, Catalonia and Spain with strong support of the public and private sector.

Mobile World Capital is leading mobile transformation through commitments in Competence Centres, local Industry Development, and Entrepreneurship and Innovation programmes.

MWCapital offers an open platform and exhibition showroom where citizens can understand and experience how mobile is enhancing our lives: The Mobile World Centre, located in the heart of Barcelona on Plaza Catalunya.

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