E-health is “vital” to winning the battle against heart disease, particularly apps, cardiology leaders said in a paper published today.
E-health refers to the use of ICT in healthcare services, surveillance, education, training and research. Examples are mobile applications (Apps) for monitoring physiological signs such as blood pressure, telemedicine for remote monitoring of patients with heart failure, electronic medical records, e-prescribing, e-referrals, decision support systems for physicians, and disease registries.
Experts from the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) said that e-health will become a core part of the ESC’s research activities, in a paper published in European Heart Journal.
Lead author Professor Martin R. Cowie, professor of cardiology at Imperial College London explained: “The ESC sees e-health as vital to achieving its mission of reducing the burden of cardiovascular disease in Europe and will take a proactive role in developing, assessing and implementing ICT innovations to support cardiovascular health.”
By 2017 more than 3 billion people worldwide will own a smartphone and half will use health Apps, their research suggests.
”But professional organisations have largely ignored this area of health and lifestyle decision making. There is no global approach to regulation of health Apps and consumers can be misled into purchasing a technology that is less beneficial than advertised,” Cowie added.
He stated that more clarity is needed on data protection issues, confidentiality and legal liability of developers and service providers, and that the ESC is keen to work with health professionals and organisations, public authorities and others “to optimise the design and implementation of new technologies for cardiovascular health”.