The European Commission (EC) has launched its mHealth consultation, and hinted that policy action could be forthcoming as early as 2015.
“mHealth will reduce costly visits to hospitals, help citizens take charge of their own health and well-being, and move towards prevention rather than cure,” said EC’s vice-president Neelie Kroes. “It is also a great opportunity for the booming app economy and for entrepreneurs.”
If the full potential of mHealth is “unlocked” it could save another €99 billion in healthcare costs across the EU.With modern technologies, the Commission hopes to put patients in control, enabling them with greater independence and helping to prevent health problems. Relying on mobile tech should also make healthcare systems more efficient, while saving some cash along the way. Finally, this emerging industry will create opportunities for innovative services, start-ups and the app economy.
The European app economy is already worth €17.5 billion and has generated 1.8 million jobs. Furthermore, if the full potential of mHealth is “unlocked” it could save another €99 billion in healthcare costs across the EU.
The three month consultation will run until July and the EC hopes to engage with a wide variety of stakeholders such as patient organizations, healthcare professionals, app developers and mobile device manufacturers.