Who says that there’s nothing new under the sun? The National Institute of Health (NIH) has announced a new discipline in health research: Mobile Health, or mHealth for short. In a new video, the NIH points out the benefits and challenges of the new advances in mobile Health Tech devices and systems. Rather than treating biometric and other data produced by these devices as isolated measures, we can now create systems that view this information in context. The example used in the video is of an individual who is experiencing an elevated heart rate. If there is also data available that indicates that the person is in motion — running, biking, or perhaps in a speeding race car — then the faster heartbeats are to be expected. But if the person is being still and not performing some physically-demanding action, then the higher rate could be cause for concern.
According to the NIH, the point of mHealth is to use an evidence-based approach to evaluate the devices and systems used to gather, communicate, process, analyze, and share the information about individual and group data. The results could be beneficial in identifying and treating chronic conditions and medical disorders, but applying stringent criteria to studying these systems is essential. NIH envisions that such research could produce better treatment outcomes for individuals, and even help provide more equal access to healthcare.