Industry body the GSM Association is to launch an m-Health centre at the University of Manchester to establish a UK hub for the development of mobile applications and services for the healthcare sector.
The Manchester m-Health Innovation Centre will be a centre for researchers, healthcare organisations and industry partners to develop mobile health innovations.
A major focus will be on using mobile technology to allow individuals to make more control of their own health issues and provide a more personalised and responsive interface to public health services. It is also working on ‘assisted living applications’ for patients, such as those with mental illnesses, to record the medication they are taking, their symptoms and their mood in real time via their mobile phone.
Other projects are planned such as ‘Virtual Health Kiosks’ for monitoring blood pressure, pulse, temperature and glucose levels at home or in the office. The kiosks will be linked seamlessly and securely to clinical and/or personal health record systems via mobile technology
The Manchester centre will also provide in-depth analysis of the m-Health market, conducting pilot trials, provide m-Health education and training and offering online resources and one-to-one services to support the emerging m-Health community.
The initiative claims it will go some way towards reducing the cost of healthcare as well as create new growth opportunities for the mobile industry.
GSMA chief marketing officer Michael O’Hara said: “A combination of mobile and healthcare can deliver tremendous benefits, such as cost savings for healthcare providers as well as convenience and improved quality of life for patients.
“We are delighted to be collaborating with the University of Manchester, a leading centre for Health Informatics research, innovation and education, and whose deep expertise and focus makes them an ideal partner for our m-Health collaboration.”
University of Manchester deputy vice chancellor Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell added: “We very much value the opportunity to work with the GSMA to translate our innovative ideas into practice.
“Sustainable health and wellbeing represent a major challenge for society worldwide, and the transformational potential of mobile technology in promoting innovative citizen-led health initiatives provides exciting opportunities.”