Mhealth about to shift from pilots to implementation, believes Exco InTouch
March 3, 2015
This year will see a significant shift from piloting mhealth programmes to full scale implementation, believes Nottingham, UK, based Exco InTouch, a provider of digital patient engagement and data capture methods for clinical research and healthcare providers.
The trend towards scale up and rising demand for multinational patient support services is driven by increased confidence in the proven capability of cross-border mhealth programmes to deliver more cost effective care and to improve healthcare outcomes significantly.
"Full-scale cross-border mhealth solutions will expand significantly as the capability for carrying them out with great effectiveness is becoming massively enhanced,” said Chris Watson, product manager at Exco InTouch. “Pilot projects have been crucial to hone the technology and comply with different regulations encountered, but the essential requirements and conditions are now in place for the industry to confidently scale-up to full scale mhealth programmes.
The market, he says, is moving away from pilots and is set for a massive shift towards full-scale mhealth programmes. However, delivering them presents unique challenges that must be addressed. The multitude of varying and complex regulations and differing patient requirements for the precise form of mobile and digital technology to be applied requires providers to be highly adaptable, and to have strong regional knowledge.
Bringing mhealth from pilots to full-scale programmes requires taking a number of key considerations into account, including the background architecture of a potential programme, such as regional settings and date formats, as well as the operational and technology considerations, such as ensuring that correct mechanisms are in place to handle cross-border data, building robust support mechanisms in at programme source and ensuring multi-threading and asynchronous processing.
Additionally, scaling mhealth programmes up requires the ability to monitor and identify system bottlenecks and planning for infrastructure to manage increased capacity. Finally, when planning for a cross-border implementation, it is vital to remember that patients need to be kept central to all design decisions.
Regulatory compliance and knowledge are aiding the scale up of cross-border mhealth programmes. Providers are increasingly able to build different data protection requirements across multiple geographies into mhealth at source.
“We have seen forward thinking providers become more flexible, responsive and confident towards rolling mhealth programmes across borders,” said Tim Davis, CEO and founder of Exco InTouch. “The results speak for themselves and the proven capability of leading mhealth providers to overcome industry challenges, combined with the scale of their proven ability to enhance cost effectiveness whilst improving patient outcomes, is driving demand for such programmes from both patients and sponsors. Consequently, the next 12 months will be the time when mhealth finally breaks free and spans the world to improve health outcomes on a global scale.”