How Mobile Devices are Transforming Healthcare

Editor’s Note: This report is being released in conjunction with 
an event at Brookings as part of the Mobile Economy Project.

In this new paper, Darrell West writes that mobile technology has expanded dramatically around the world with the utilization of smart phones and tablets transforming communications, commerce, and entertainment, among other fields.  Their emergence has improved service delivery, empowered consumers, businesses, and entrepreneurs, and changed the way in which people access information and make transactions.

Now this technology, West argues, is poised to alter how health care is delivered, the quality of the patient experience, and the cost of health care.[1] Mobile technology is helping with chronic disease management, empowering the elderly and expectant mothers, reminding people to take medication at the proper time, extending service to underserved areas, and improving health outcomes and medical system efficiency.  West examines trends in mobile health innovation from around the world and reviews adoption of innovative examples of m-health, its impact on service delivery and medical treatment, and how mobile devices are altering the health care system. 

[1] Hao Wang and Jing Liu, “Mobile Phone Based Health Care Technology”, Recent Patents in Biomedical Engineering, Volume 2, 2009, pp. 15-21.