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What’s Happening with Healthcare Apps?

28 September 2015 - 13:32

What’s happening with mHealth Apps?

The ECHAlliance International Network of Ecosystems has an important role to play in fostering digital innovation and in particular health apps. Many app developers are start-ups and SMEs so are a key part of the Health and Prosperity policy helping to create jobs and increase GDP. For these reasons we have been following closely the EU initiatives on health apps.

Green Paper on mHealth & Conclusions

On the 10th April 2014 the European Commission launched a Green Paper public consultation on mobile health in which it asked for stakeholders views on 11 identified issues. A total of 211 responses were received (including one from the ECHAlliance) and the Commission published its Report on 12th January 2015.

The Commision commented that:

• Health & Fitness apps are among the fastest growing app categories in terms of use.

• Over half of app users plan to use wearable devices.

mHealth has four key challenges:

1. Lack of knowledge among mHealth manufacturers about the legal framework.

2. Data Protection & trust

3. Lack of interoperability between healthcare systems in the EU

4. Safety of mHealth apps

Privacy and lack of trust were identified as the biggest obstacle to adoption of mHealth devices and services. There are believed to be at least 97,000 mHealth apps in existence so the scale of the challenge is considerable.

The biggest concerns were:

• Reuse of data by third parties.

• Secure transmission and storage of data.

• Lack of informed consent

More info here