Unlocking the Potential of Mobile Health in Europe: Removing Barriers to the Empowerment of Citizens

EU-Events-logoDate: Wednesday, 20 January 2016 10:00 – 16:30

Place: Thon Hotel Brussels Centre  |  City: Saint-Josse-ten-Noode, Belgium

According to BCC Research’s ‘Mobile health Technologies and Global Markets Report’ (2014), the global mHealth market is projected to grow to nearly $21.5 billion by 2018, with the EU set to be the largest market for mHealth solutions over the next decade. As healthcare systems in Europe are currently facing new challenges such as the ageing of the population and increasing budgetary pressure, the costs of health and social care will rise substantially to about 9% of EU GDP in 2050.

Mobile Health presents itself as an emerging and developing field with the potential to transform current healthcare systems and provide a solution to tackle existing issues whilst contributing towards increasing the systems’ quality and efficiency.

Covering medical and public health practices supported by mobile devices, mHealth focuses particularly on the use of mobile communication devices for health & well-being services and information purposes as well as mobile health applications. It also includes applications such as ‘lifestyle & wellbeing apps’ that may connect to medical devices and provide health information and medication reminders by sms and wirelessly.

With an expanding number of European citizens using smartphones and 3G/4G networks, the use of mHealth solutions has considerably increased. Through the use of sensors and apps which measure vital signs such as heart rate, blood glucose level or body temperature, mHealth allows the collection of medical, physiological, lifestyle and daily activity data which could support the delivery of high-quality healthcare by helping healthcare professionals to make more accurate diagnosis and treatments, as well as to develop a more personalised medication while encouraging prevention and observance to more healthy lifestyles.

As described by the European Commission’s Green Paper on mHealth (April 2014), mobile health solutions appear as a solid basis for patients’ empowerment, allowing them to manage their health more actively without leaving their own home environment. However, in order to consider mHealth as an efficient and safe tool for the management and provision of healthcare, several potential issues and barriers must be targeted at both European and national level. Amongst these, the lack of a clear legal EU framework on mHealth, the need to guarantee patients’ data protection and safety as well as the urgency of overcoming the lack of interoperability between EU healthcare systems, as identified by the EC’s Public Consultation on Mobile Health (2014).    

This International Symposium provides a timely opportunity for practitioners and stakeholders across Europe to discuss the challenges and latest developments that mHealth services in the EU are currently facing. Public Policy Exchange welcomes the participation of all key partners, responsible authorities and stakeholders. The symposium will support the exchange of ideas and encourage delegates to engage in thought-provoking topical debates. 

 Delegates will:

  • Assess the current state of affairs of mHealth policies at EU level
  • Discuss users’ data protection and privacy issues related to the use of mHealth solutions
  • Explore ways to ensure patients’ safety and transparency of information
  • Gain knowledge on the interoperability of mHealth services


09:15 Registration and Morning Refreshments
10:00 Chair’s Welcome and Opening Remarks
10:10 Designing a Clear Legal Framework for mHealth in Europe 

  • Following Up on the mHealth Green Paper and Public Consultation
  • The Role of mHealth in Healthcare Systems: Promoting Evidence on the Uptake of mHealth Solutions and their Cost Effectiveness
  • Recommendations for Future Policy Action
10:40 First Round of Discussions
11:10 Morning Coffee Break
11:30 Building Users’ Trust: Ensuring Data Protection and Privacy 

  • Securing Data Transmission and Storage: Creating an industry-led Code of Conduct on Mobile Health Apps
  • Guaranteeing Data Anonymisation and Authentication Mechanisms
  • The Reuse of Data by Third Parties and Lack of Informed Consent
  • Recommendations for Future Policy Action
12:00 Second Round of Discussions
12:30 Networking Lunch
13:30 Ensuring Patient Safety and Transparency of Information 

  • Guaranteeing Performance and Security: Developing Quality Standards and Certification Schemes for Lifestyle and Wellbeing Apps
  • Incentivising the Adoption of mHealth Services: Modernising Reimbursement Models
  • Discussing Misleading Claims and Liability Issues of Doctors and Manufacturers
  • Sharing Innovators’ Best Practice and Challenges
14:00 Third Round of Discussions
14:30 Afternoon Coffee Break
14:45 Encouraging Interoperability and Access to the Market 

  • Ensuring Integration of mHealth Services with Electronic Health Records for Continuity of Care and Research Purposes
  • Promoting Open Standards and the Use of the Open Application Programming Interfaces for Software Developers
  • Collaborating with Health Professionals and Caregivers in Co-designing mHealth Solutions
  • Facilitating Web Entrepreneurs Access to the mHealth Market
15:15 Fourth Round of Discussions
15:45 Chair’s Summary and Closing Remarks
16:00 Networking Reception and Refreshments
16:30 Symposium Close

Read more and register for the event here.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.cosmopolitalians.eu/unlocking-the-potential-of-mobile-health-in-europe-removing-barriers-to-the-empowerment-of-citizens/

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