Addressing the World Healthcare Challenge: M-Health

today's global healthcare challenges are complex the developed world is being affected in ways different from that of the developing world and at times this challenging Tale of Two world seems daunting in the mature markets where the healthcare systems are well developed the real issue in health care today is around cost the cost of health care is staggering and growing much more rapidly than GDP for example in the u.s. we spend over 2.5 trillion dollars on health care each year and that has been growing at a rate two points faster than gdp growth which is just flatly unsustainable in the emerging markets the issue is access to care many emerging markets today like Africa many parts of Asia Latin America etc still lack basic access to care mortality rates in Africa still exceed those in the mature markets by five fold some of this is because of lack of bricks and mortars access which is there aren't enough dispensaries and primary care centers some of these challenges are because of lack of physicians for example in Tanzania you only have a couple of hundred doctors for about 30 million people given that there is a global trend of an increase in chronic disease across the world which is driven by overweight obesity which is linked with diabetes hypertension cardiovascular disease and as the world's population ages and the cost of health care increase it's a recipe for disaster in many respects while these challenges are formidable there are some very promising mobile healthcare solutions on the horizon solutions that can be applied to both worlds and if deploys strategically can begin to close the gap and create real opportunity in reshaping the health care industry the premise of mobile healthcare is very simple it starts with asserting that almost four-fifths of all human population today has a mobile phone either their own or neighbors or a friends and through this mobile phone they can communicate in many different ways through voice through data through SMS and so therefore for the first time in human history and then almost the entire human population is connected the vision of em health is a vision of greater efficiencies from a cost-effectiveness perspective on providing health care as well as also an increase and improvements of patient outcomes so by having more information presented in a timely manner patients can better monitor and manage their air conditions and their diseases alternatively from an individual's perspective from a patient's perspective I think the the dream of em health is very much allowing patients to take charge of their own conditions once you eliminate the need for the physical comprises of patient and physician you can really access from anywhere in the world the best medical talent anywhere in the world so I'm health is really emerging as a you know not a break through technological wise Lucien but I've breakthrough to bring you know health at a distance cost efficiently and saving governments millions of dollars while unplugging the system with unnecessary medical distance the potential for mobile health is enormous we did some top-down estimate on a worldwide level and the impact by application of remote health monitoring for the most common chronic conditions only would be over 200 billion dollars per year in potential savings so the potential of em health is apparent but what does it really mean is it about killer apps and devices or is there more to it mmm health is really more than just a device is it really is the whole ecosystem from the infrastructure and the connectivity to the applications of devices and also the Indian solutions are enabled from that as well immediately you can put sophisticated monitoring systems and services in the hands of patients themselves and by doing so you can push effectively your healthcare provision all the way down to the patients where it's cheap and cost effective to do so what we announced actually bringing to market a disease management application specifically focused on diabetes at first but then moving into other chronic diseases as well what's really cool about this application it allows diabetics to enter their you know important information whether it be medication or glucose levels into this mobile application which then feeds that information into a clinical database with algorithms that can then provide real-time feedback and coaching at the same time that information is also then sent to clinicians caregivers and physicians so that they can intervene when necessary as well this drives costs out of the system as well as allows physicians to focus her efforts on the folks that need to care the most we're looking at telestroke if you go into a hospital that has very little ability to look after someone with a stroke neurosurgical etc you can connect with a center like Cleveland Clinic which they can look at the x-rays they can determine what kind of stroke it is they can put you on the path to a protocol they can say does this patient need to come here for a surgical procedure etc that begins to standardize care and that begins to improve the quality of care and that begins to take care to where the patient actually is that's huge yem stethoscope is short for a mobile stethoscope and in a sense it's turning a regular cell phone into a stethoscope using very basic technology and this enables the fluctuations which are generated by the heart valves as they open and close to be transduced to the microphone of the hands-free kit so the cell phone is able then to record the heart sounds and to be able to analyze and transmit those hot songs to remote server one of the things that first sold me on this was about six years ago I had went to see a first installation of distance medicine in Houston and I put on a stethoscope and listen to the heart of a patient and who's in prisoner 300 miles away now hi there's a sound called an opening snap for people who have mitral valve disease I as a cardiac surgeon had never heard it before then truth I heard it on a patient 300 miles away so that i think is testimony to the fidelity of that device cinda Mexican example at least about half of the population so we're talking about 60 million people close to that have no insurance role not a public or private so to have a doctor whether be on the phones much better than having no insurance or no doctor at all and secondly there's a striking figure over millions and millions of calls we've done over the years this figure really stands out that sixty-two percent of all medical first calls can be resolved on the phone so some em health solutions are already clearly out there but what else needs to happen who are the key players who wins who loses and what is the timing mobile health will fundamentally drive costs out of the health care system so all of the payers for health care whether that is the government private insurers or in the US is case many public and private corporations who bear much of the burden of health care costs today they all win for governments and health ministries whose fundamental a mission is to both pay for care right they are the primary payers as well as to be a steward on behalf of their citizens of improving the life and health of their citizens mobile health meet both of those needs the time is now because differently from the past telecom and high-tech players are looking for new sources of growth in the past they were lucky and content of their double-digit growth in their core business now they are really looking for new opportunities so this is clearly one of the largest opportunity on the other hand health care systems have never been more than in these days under pressure for sustainability so for cost reduction and so they will have all the incentives even under difficult political circumstances to actually act and deploy mobile health systems to ensure sustainability of a quality healthcare system right now I think the future is very very very promising we're very excited again you know all types of governments all over the world are having problem with medical care medical expenditure so we're talking right now with two to make a relative disruptive use over very low low tech technology which is a phone call but if you come to think mobile or cellular phone penetration well it's always spread is about billion phones out there in the world Justin Mexico's r19 own funds so you can't beat that there's 90 million ways to reach people versus 20,000 clinics in Mexico so numbers are overwhelming so people accept that is going to be big but in terms of timing and this is a time for innovation and value creation and therefore it is incredibly exciting for the private players on one hand as well as the public sector players the foundations and the government's because they see this as a new way to solve problems with which they have been struggling for many decades and that's why there is a huge sense of excitement in mobile health care right now I don't think that we can look after the patients population that we're currently faced with without these new technologies I think they bring great greater quality I think they bring our ability to reach people that we couldn't reach otherwise and I think that they will ultimately help us decrease costs and looking after patients and so I see a rapid implementation of these technologies where you know a mobile phone now we'll be able to provide both for patients and for physicians an incredible link between the two with apps that help you manage your diabetes with apps that help you manage your congestive heart failure with apps that tell you about your exercise and your wellness with apps that tell you how much how many calories are in the food that you're eating with apps that help you stop smoking all of these things will help diminish the cost and improve the quality and the health of people across the world mobile healthcare today is at a place where the internet was in the mid-1990s the confluence of enabling technologies low cost to entry and high demand is already here in a few very short years m health will be an integral part of the healthcare ecosystem making the right moves today will shape the next wave of change for future generations you

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