Green Paper on mobile health (‘mHealth’)

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Series Details (2014) 219 final (10.04.14)
Publication Date 10/04/2014
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Mobile health (hereafter “mHealth”) covers “medical and public health practice supported by mobile devices, such as mobile phones, patient monitoring devices, personal digital assistants (PDAs), and other wireless devices”.

It also includes applications (hereafter "apps") such as lifestyle and wellbeing apps that may connect to medical devices or sensors (e.g. bracelets or watches) as well as personal guidance systems, health information and medication reminders provided by sms and telemedicine provided wirelessly.

mHealth is an emerging and rapidly developing field which has the potential to play a part in the transformation of healthcare and increase its quality and efficiency. The expanding spread of smartphones as well as 3G and 4G networks has boosted the use of mobile apps offering healthcare services. The availability of satellite navigation technologies in mobile devices provides the possibility to improve the safety and autonomy of patients.

Through sensors and mobile apps, mHealth allows the collection of considerable medical, physiological, lifestyle, daily activity and environmental data. This could serve as a basis for evidence-driven care practice and research activities, while facilitating patients' access to their health information anywhere and at any time.

The objective of this Green Paper, announced in the eHealth Action Plan 2012-2020, is to launch a broad stakeholder consultation on existing barriers and issues related to mHealth deployment and help identify the right way forward to unlock mHealth potential.

The Green Paper considers the potential of mHealth and its technological aspects and presents the issues where stakeholder input is sought. It also analyses mHealth potential to maintain and improve patients' health and well-being and encourage their empowerment.

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EUR-Lex: COM(2014)219: Follow the progress of this green paper through the decision-making procedure
EUR-Lex: SWD(2014)135: Commission Staff Working Document on the existing EU legal framework applicable to lifestyle and wellbeing apps
ESO: Background information: Healthcare in your pocket: unlocking the potential of mHealth

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