Based in San Francisco, Peter “Pete” Killcommons is the inventor of a Web-based radiology viewer and chief executive officer of Medweb. During a recent trip to Japan, Peter Killcommons worked to expand the use of m-health (mobile health) technology for in-home care of the elderly.
M-health refers to the use of mobile devices and wireless technology in health care. It has been used to educate users about preventive health care services in areas without adequate health care but large populations and good cellular coverage. It is also used for disease management and tracking epidemic outbreaks.
Patients can receive or transmit text or voice messages from health care agencies, and health care providers can receive timely data and collaborate with others.
Wearable devices such as Fitbit and smart watches are another trend in m-health. These devices can monitor a patient’s vital signs and thus avoid costly hospital admissions. They also come with apps that, when combined with telehealth services, are useful in preventing health risks.
Though already popular, the adoption of wearable devices is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of over 35 percent between 2016 and 2021 and reach over $60 billion. The primary drivers behind this increase are aging populations, the focus on reducing health care costs, and the availability of wireless data coverage.