Mobile Health or mHealth uses mobile communication technologies, including the delivery of health information, health services and healthy lifestyle support programmes. Mobile communication devices include mobile phones (usually smartphones), tablet computers, mobile sensors and other devices that use cellular networks (3G or 4G), Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. Functionality includes text messaging (SMS), smartphone/tablet apps, mobile web browsing, video calling, MMS/pxt, and allowing the mobile use of technologies such as QR code scanning and GPS locating.
Examples of New Zealand mHealth programmes include:
- STOMP: a text messaging smoking cessation support programme that was implemented as txt2quit by The Quit Group
- FoodSwitch: a smartphone app to provide point-of-sale nutritional advice on foods and suggest healthier alternatives
- Listen Please: a clinical translation smartphone app for patients to communicate with clinicians in emergency/intensive care situation.
The Northern Regions Future Vision for mhealth
The telehealth Future Vision work was done by the Northern Region DHBs in 2015 in an effort to identify current and future clinical requirements for the use of telehealth technology. Clinical scenarios and key requirements were identified with input from the NZ Telehealth Forum and a workshop was held with clinicians and stakeholders from across the Northern Region health sector to flesh out and further define the primary clinical use cases.
The Northern Region’s IT Service Provider healthAlliance joined the collaboration as part of their Digital Enablement Strategy and formed the core project which would take the Northern Region through procurement and selection of a suitable telehealth technology.
Core to the approach is the vision to provide accessible, user friendly technology supporting the safe and effective delivery of patient centred healthcare closer to home. CLICK HERE TO READ