New technologies have an impact on the health and independence of patients. With mobile applications, for example it is possible to monitor his kidney failure or assess physical activity. On July 1, the unit of evaluation of scientific and technological options (STOA) of Parliament organized a workshop on the issue. The objective was to understand how such new technologies can allow patients to gain independence.
The President of STOA, the Austrian Christian Democrat MP Paul Rübig said at the beginning of the workshop it was “essential to ensure that citizens can make decisions about their own health,” adding that “we must also work on legislation to protect privacy [citizens]” .
Roberto Bertollini, representative of the World Health Organization to the European Union, said that to help improve preventive medicine, health systems should be simplified. Indeed, “even people who have some knowledge on the subject may encounter difficulties.”
What eHealth and mHealth?
Online Health , or e-health, is a health care practice approved by the European Parliament which is based on electronic devices and communication.
For example, patients can access their own medical data by connecting to the Internet, which makes them better informed about their health conditions and facilitates communication between health professionals and patients.
Marc Lange, of the European Association of health telematics, recalled that eHealth has many challenges: “eHealth is changing the behavior of patients and health systems . The goal is to move the care of places: going from hospitals to home care, and even go into the pockets of citizens [with smartphones]. “
Mobile Health is somehow a sub-category of e-health. It refers to the use of mobile applications dedicated to health for self-assessment or remote monitoring. For example, patients with kidney failure can receive an artificial kidney portable device remotely monitored both by patients via their smartphone and the medical staff.
This is a growing field. According to the Commission, around 100 000 mobile applications dedicated to health are currently available
The Austrian Socialist Democrat Karin Kadenbach concluded the event by stating that it was essential to improve preventive medicine in the European Union. Indeed, “it has been proved that a poorly performing preventive medicine has a direct impact on chronic disease management, productivity levels, mortality rates and overhead costs related to health”.
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