The Journal of mHealth Vol 1 Issue 3 (June 2014) - Page 35

eHealth: Accelerating Towards a Healthy Future eHealth: Accelerating Towards a Healthy Future Article written by Neelie Kroes Vice-President of the European Commission, responsible for the Digital Agenda population ages, the 'silver economy' is emerging as a highly promising market. Over recent years the European Commission has been working hard to shape a new vision that puts people in control of their health and wellbeing. At the wheel are the patients, on the road towards efficient and effective healthcare. The benefits are a triple win: putting the patient in control, saving on costs and efficiency, and creating huge opportunities for innovative services and start-ups. This is the ethos behind our European Innovation Partnership for Active and Healthy Ageing. I attended the eHealth Forum in Athens on 12-14 May (2014), which put this vision on the public stage at a time of substantial market opportunities. One of the key issues we discussed was the emergence of mobile health, or mHealth, defined as the use of mobile phones, tablets and other wireless devices in healthcare. These are smart devices for disease self-management and remote monitoring, leading to prevention rather than cure, and more independent living; tools offering fitness and dietary tips as well as lifestyle and wellbeing apps. These new technologies can all help healthcare professionals treat patients more efficiently, get citizens more involved in managing their health and diseases and help Member States deal with tight budgetary and human resources, while facing an ageing population. One example of an mHealth service is the EU-funded REACTION project which developed a mobile system that helps doctors and nurses within the hospital to treat patients with diabetes. Via sensors, the system monitors vital signals such as blood glucose levels and administered drugs and gives therapy advice; H]H