Updated on 30 November 2012
Another vertical within telemedicine that is in some way or the other dependent on cloud is mobile health or mHealth. Mobile devices have penetrated the markets in developing countries in a manner that even the bare necessities such as power grids, water works and road systems haven't reached them. Thus, use of mobile technology to improve healthcare offers a tremendous opportunity for developing nations.
Australia-based iSonea is leveraging its proprietary technologies to take advantage of this burgeoning mobile health industry. Mr Mike Thomas, CEO, iSonea, said "providing low cost, readily accessible and pro-active health management solutions for all consumers, regardless of where they live in the world" is smart healthcare for the company. iSonea's innovative range of products integrate the company's proprietary acoustic respiratory monitoring capabilities and diagnostic algorithms into smartphone platforms, providing cost-effective and accessible means of monitoring and managing chronic diseases such as asthma.
"We believe the universal proliferation and availability of iPhones and android-based smartphones provides an ideal platform for asthma monitoring, with more than 500 million of these devices sold every year. These devices are perpetually present with their owners, meaning that the hardware needed for frequent daily monitoring will already be in the customers' hands. Harnessing the mHealth platform also provides low cost product development, a more efficient market penetration model, and a quicker path to revenue generation for the company," he said.
In May 2012, the company launched AsthmaSense, a smartphone application designed to help asthmatics better manage and monitor their condition. Using this app, which is available to iPod and android users, patients can enter their personalized physician-recommended asthma action plan. AsthmaSense then ensures that the user sticks to the plan with active reminders. It records symptoms, medication usage and lung function testing data and displays user trends in an easy-to-read graphical format. The company hopes that the future versions of the app will include in-built wheeze monitoring capacity, providing users with on-the-spot capability to monitor wheeze rate.
eHealth Access also plans to launch an application, DialurDoctor Mobile App, which is the first-of-its-kind android-based application to connect patients to doctors in less than five seconds.
Bangalore-based IT and software giant, Wipro, also leverages on cloud, nanotechnology, mobility and analytics to deliver breakthrough solutions to solve some of the healthcare challenges in emerging markets. Mr T K Padmanabha, CTO, Wipro Infotech, India and Middle East, said the company is working on smart sensors that are wearable, portable and can stay active for over several days after charging once. "Our unique medical gateway solution enables seamless data collection by a mobile phone and uploads it to a cloud-based data system compliant with global data security and privacy standards," he said.