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International Connected Health 14.08.14

Connected Health (CH) means different things to different people, but fundamentally, it is about moving health and social care from a set of linear activities, to an interconnected web of information, which benefits both those delivering and those receiving the care.

As an industry, CH brings together a broad range of audiences – policy makers and regulators, patients, carers, and health professionals, and technology, device and data providers – leading to a complex communication landscape. In order to join the dots across this complex network, the establishment of an open dialogue and a common language is vital. There are further challenges involved in doing this across geographical borders, but at least from the implementation point of view, international efforts on connected health are picking up apace.

Held during the recent Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Healthcare UK’s Digital Health Forum gave a group of over 70 delegates the chance to discuss their new role in the Be He@lthy Be Mobile initiative. This programme, led by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) aims to focus on the use of mobile technology in the prevention and treatment of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

Working alongside BUPA and GSK, Public Health England will contribute British expertise to this ground-breaking initiative. It is hoped that Be He@lthy Be Mobile can ensure rapid dissemination of ideas and knowledge, and provide an international network over which medical professionals can collaborate in efforts to prevent and treat NCDs.

However, one thing missing from this remarkable initiative is a recognition of the importance of the role of communication in connected health. The implementation of country-wide healthcare initiatives requires buy-in from a huge number of stakeholders. But once this broadens to include CH solutions, such as the use of mobile data collection, clear, consistent messaging becomes even more important.

To read more about Be He@lthy Be Mobile: http://www.itu.int/en/ITU-D/ICT-Applications/eHEALTH/Pages/Be_Healthy_intro.aspx

To download Proof’s white paper on the challenges of communicating connected healthcare, go here: http://proofcommunication.com/connectedhealth