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mHealth – the rise of the machines

I’m going to interrupt my blog series on ‘mHealth Myths and Realities’ to look at some breaking news this week, which highlights one of the ways that mHealth will enter the mainstream in 2014. You may recall in an earlier blog that I predicted M2M connected medical devices will start to make a real impact in 2014?  Well it’s happening – a very nice article on Wired.co.uk this week highlighted the new Medtronic Reveal Linq device, an implantable cardiac monitor that not only captures abnormal heart rhythms but also transmits that data real-time to your specialist via a 3G connected module.  Earlier this year I highlighted 24Care’s innovative service which mobile-connects automated external defibrillators.  In France the government legislated that devices for sleep apnoea must now be connected to prove usage for re-imbursement.  

mHealth

Machines are coming to life with mHealth

My intelligence tells me that we are going to see a lot more connected medical devices launched this year, this is only the beginning.  But why are medical device makers so interested in the possibilities of mHealth and M2M (machine to machine) connectivity? 

There are big advantages:

       Mobile connectivity liberates the device – people move around and so do their devices – why be tied to a fixed telecoms link?

       Mobile connectivity is nearly always cheaper – this wasn’t always the case, but today M2M offerings charge per byte, and given the low volumes of data sent by many medical devices, that makes it much cheaper

       Device manufacturers are by nature engineers, so the idea of integrating new electronics is in their DNA

       Even if you only connected the medical device to do remote maintenance you probably have a positive business case – think of the major hassle involved in sending out field engineers or the expense of doing a device recall

 You may recall in my first blog that I tried to explain my perspective on ‘what is mHealth?’ Well with examples like these it now feels easier to say – ‘that’s mHealth’. It may be happening under the covers, but believe me mHealth is happening all around us.  

Please feel free to add on your own sightings below, or contact me.

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