Research will deliver mHealth business models, says GSMA

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Research to help businesses begin delivering mobile health services to developed and emerging markets, and small firms can help lead the way with innovation, says GSMA

Research put in place at the first mHealth summit in Cape Town, South Africa earlier this month will lead to business models for delivering healthcare services using mobile technology, according to GSMA head of health Gavin Krugel.

Speaking to Mobile News following the event, Krugel said that research conducted over the next year would help develop a sustainable model for the new sector.

He said: “About a year’s worth of research has been put in place at the summit which will lead us to understanding what each of the key enablers are going to be, such as quality and regulation, reimbursement models, enterprise acrchitectures, promotion etc.

“Once each of those chapters is complete, we will have a better idea of what the business model will look like.”

The four-day summit, organised by the GSMA and the mHealth Alliance, was designed to bring together governments, industry figures and healthcare professionals to help drive the adoption of mobile technology in the health sector and increase understanding of how it can be used to tackle health issues in the developed world and emerging markets.

Mobile technology is seen as especially important in tackling health issues in developing nations which lack traditional healthcare infrastructure. It has already been successfully deployed to deliver maternal care and disease management services.

However, Krugel said mobile health is also “definitely” going to play an important role in developed nations such as the UK.

“Looking at, for example, remote monitoring, remote diagnosis, and to a degree self diagnosis using mobile technology, the combination of emerging applications and new embedded and connected devices are starting a trend towards taking the hospital towards the home.

“In my view it is ideal in reducing the burden on the healthcare system. The more that we can serve the patient outside the hospital, the better.”

Krugel also said that smaller firms in the UK can play an important role in developing mobile healthcare solutions.

“It is going to be the small firms that are the innovators, be the ones who develop the technology for the healthcare providers and even enable the mobile industry to provide services to the healthcare industry.

“With everything from app developers to new device developers, we see a lot of the innovation coming from small to medium enterprises.”

Krugel said that the attendance and the calibre of attendees at the event had exceeded expectations

He said: “We aimed to have a number of people who could roll up their sleeves and do some work in progressing mobile health around the world.

“The depth of conversation and the plans have been put in play to take mobile health forward have left me feeling the event went beyond the success we anticipated.”

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