The mHealh Summit, held in Washington D.C., 3-5 December, highlights the best practices in health through the use of mobile devices and fosters the dialogue among leaders in the public and private sectors, fostering in-depth dialogue to identify and accelerate cross-cutting value chains.
Patricia Mechael, Executive Director of mHealth Alliance, defines mHealth as an extension of eHealth, also known as the traditional health services that use information and communication technologies. Mechael emphasizes that mobile health involves not only the transfer of information, but also the ability to communicate and mobilize for promoting action.
The mHealth Summit seeks to explore, examine, and debate the ways mobile technology is transforming health care delivery, research, business and policy for developed and developing nations. This event brought together over 400 exhibitors showcasing innovative devices, services, applications, tools and related solutions.
The Pan American Health Organization / World Health Organization has worked together with mHealth Alliance in defining strategic lines that contribute on the progress of the Strategy and Plan of Action on eHealth in the Americas.
Patricia Mechael, Executive Director of mHealth Alliance, speaks about eHealth and mHealth
In this video clip, Mechael talks about mHealth, its role in the eHealth ecosystem, and the mission of the mHealth Alliance, which was created to respond to the fragmentation of the eHealth ecosystem. Mechael notes that while there are now many mHealth pilot projects around the world, they do not necessarily consider the importance of standardization.
She adds that the mHealth Alliance is working on building an evidence base on how mHealth works, what works, and why it works. A major challenge, as well as an opportunity, she says, is identifying and emphasizing the benefits of mHealth.
Mechael mentions some mHealth projects in the Americas, including a maternal and child health initiative in Peru and a diabetes management and care project in Chile.
She adds that the mHealth Alliance is also working on policy issues, taking the entire mHealth environment into account. She comments that mHealth has been well received, but while many people are interested in it as a strategy, they do not always know where or how to begin approaching it. Hence, the importance of supporting capacity building.