The rise of mHealth: how technology is being used to support respiratory patients

Georgina Fradley, Matt Bonam, Mark Brincat

With the rising cost of healthcare worldwide, providers around the world are seeking new ways to address the challenge of caring for patients with chronic conditions. Advances in technology provide an ideal means to affect this change, with 96% of the global population having access to mobile devices a new market in mobile health ‘mHealth’ has emerged in recent years. This paper reviews the range of different solutions now offered by mHealth technologies and discusses how they can be leveraged to engage patients and facilitate long-term condition management. Several case studies are examined to illustrate how such programs have been implemented around the world to improve health outcomes for respiratory patients whilst providing clear return on investment for health payers, including the Florence program run by the UK National Health Service, the Easy Asthma Management program implemented by the Korea Society of Asthma and Allergy (KSAA) and the Care for Asthma via Mobile Phone program introduced in Taiwan. Finally the paper will discuss the Me&MyCOPD program which has been introduced in the UK by AstraZeneca as an integrated self-management program for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), breaking new ground in mHealth solutions by using a range of mobile and digital technologies to provide a personalised, truly mobile approach to monitor, support and empower patients to take control of their condition, utilising their own communication devices.

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