| | NOVEMBER 20198By Amit Sharma, Head - Strategy & IT, Cytecare Cancer HospitalsIn his career spanning over 14 years, Amit has held key positions across companies such as GVK Biosciences, iGATE, Quintiles, and Cognizant Business Consulting, prior to joining Cytecare in 2016.The use of mobile and wireless technologies to support the achievement of health ob-jectives has the potential to trans-form the face of healthcare sys-tem across the globe. A powerful combination of factors is driving this change. These include rapid advances in mobile technologies and applications, a rise in new opportunities for the integration of mobile health into existing eHealth services and the contin-ued growth in coverage of mobile cellular networks. The unprecedented spread of mobile technologies, as well as advancements in their applica-tions to address health care needs, has evolved into a new field of eHealth, known as M-Health. M-Health, also known as mo-bile health - refers to the practice of medicine and public health sup-ported by mobile devices such as mobile phones, tablets, personal digital assistants and the wireless infrastructure. According to the International Telecommunication Union, there are now close to five billion mobile phone subscrip-tions in the world, of which India accounts for over 1 billion. Today, over 85 percent of the world's pop-ulation is covered by a commer-cial wireless signal. The growing sophistication of these networks ­ offering higher and higher speeds of data transmission along-side cheaper and more powerful handsets ­ are transforming the way health services and informa-tion are accessed, delivered, and managed. With increased acces-sibility comes the possibility of greater personalization and cit-izen-focused public health and medical care. The term M-Health was coined by Robert Istepanian as the use of `emerging mobile communi-cations and network technologies for healthcare'. A definition used at the 2010 M-Health Summit of the Foundation for the National In-stitutes of Health (FNIH) was `the delivery of healthcare services via mobile communication devices'. Within the M-Health space, healthcare providers use mobile technology to: · Access clinical information (e.g., through mobile health apps and mobile-enabled EHRs),· Collaborate with R&D teams (e.g., with secure text messaging),· Communicate with patients (e.g., through patient portals),· Offer real-time monitoring of patients, and Patients use mobile health technology to:· Track their own health data through M-Health apps and devic-es like the Fitbit, My Fitness Pal· Access their clinical records through mobile-enabled patient portals, and· Communicate with their providers Surveillance of Diseases via M-HealthA key component of any M-Health initiative is the collection and transmission of health-related data via mobile devices. Disease surveil-lance began in the 17th century with John Graunt's `Natural and Po-litical Observations Made upon the Bills of Mortality'. While Graunt's analysis was the first of its kind, he still faced many insurmount-able challenges. Fortunately, we have made tremendous strides in health, science and communica-tions technology since the days of John Graunt. M-HEALTH: DISEASE SURVEILLANCE & MANAGEMENTTHOUGHT LEADERSHIP
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