Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Telecoms group urges EU to support mobile health rollout

Iain Morris
July 9, 2014
The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) has urged European Union authorities to support the adoption of mobile health services, arguing that more widespread use of the technology would have major societal and economic benefits for the region.

The TIA – which represents the interests of telecoms equipment manufacturers and suppliers – believes EU authorities should be cooperating with other international bodies on mobile health development and engaging with the global telecoms industry.

It also appeals to the EU to rely on “voluntary, open and consensus-based standards” and to avoid introducing legislation that would put governments in the position of being able to determine the future design and development of technology.

Citing clinical evidence, the group also claims that mobile health services have the potential to curb healthcare costs, both in Europe and globally, and improve quality of life for patients with a range of illnesses.

By allowing hospitals, caregivers and patients to share patient-generated health data in a timely fashion, the use of mobile health technology could lead to a number of societal benefits, says the TIA.

Remote patient monitoring alone could lead to savings of $36 billion globally by 2018, according to recent research, with clinical evidence demonstrating that interoperable remote monitoring can improve care, reduce hospitalizations and engage patients in their own care.

A remote monitoring program implemented by St Vincent Health, a healthcare provider in the US state of Indiana, was seen to reduce hospital readmissions to as little as 5% of patients making use of the technology – compared with 20% of other patients.

M2M technology could also provide hospitals with data about the location of critical mobile equipment and reduce the time it takes healthcare workers to access that equipment in the event of an emergency.

It could also be used to increase the efficiency of emergency services and support the deployment of remote monitoring in home settings, says the TIA.
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