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About this book

This book describes current trends in m_Health technology, systems, and applications. The book proposes a multifaceted view on m-Health opportunities and requirements starting from four aspects: patient, technology, design and innovation. The analysis is completed by a market segmentation overview and by the most recent research experiences to offer a complete benchmark and vision of m_Health for today and tomorrow. The contributions are based on the outcomes of initiatives on the future of healthcare, funded by the EU in the frame of FP7 and Horizon 2020 and their deployment into real clinical practice. Throughout the book, clinicians, technicians, researchers, and end-users debate their experience, needs, risks, opportunities, and available solutions in this fast moving field.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Introduction

Health care is undergoing a true revolution towards new paradigms for all actors involved, first of all the scientific and clinical side, where traditional reactive approach based on symptoms and disease management is progressively giving way to a systemic approach oriented to proactive, preventive and personalised medicine. In this revolutionary scenario, technological innovation and, in particular, ICT and mobile health play the role of key enablers.
Maria Renata Guarneri, Roberto Sironi, Paolo Perego

Chapter 2. The mHealth

The rapid growth and popularity of mobile technology have opened an entirely new area in healthcare. Mobile health (mHealth) encompasses any use of mobile applications and devices for health and is a lively area of development and research. mHealth apps and devices hold great promise in terms of potential benefits for the several actors involved (patients, citizens, and professionals). For example, the promotion of preventive behaviors and health monitoring, enhanced patient-doctor engagement, improved service delivery in resource-limited settings, patient empowerment, and patient-centered care. At the same time, this mobile revolution in healthcare can bring along peculiar challenges and risks that are entirely new and that need to be carefully addressed. For example, the digital divide and related health inequalities, the risk of increased dropout in clinical studies compared, and the issue of guaranteeing evidence base, validation, and in general, quality and effectiveness of mHealth. These challenges push for more and more focused research in the field and for increasing collaboration among researchers, physicians and healthcare professionals, developers, industries, as well as representatives of the target user groups.
Alessia Paglialonga, Alfonso Mastropietro, Elisa Scalco, Giovanna Rizzo

Chapter 3. mHealth Market Exploitation Through the Analysis of the Related Intellectual Property Rights

mHealth is one of the emerging markets offering numerous opportunities both for the involved stakeholders and for doctors to improve the quality of life of patients. For this reason, a smart analysis of patents and innovations in mHealth together with the identification of the next future challenges is necessary for companies to enter the market and exploit their know-how to match consumer demand. This paper focuses on the analysis of the Intellectual Property Rights in the field of mHealth systems to draw a reference knowledge framework of the mHealth scenario. An up-to-date detailed categorization, the geographical distribution and the identification of top players in mHealth are presented.
Massimo Barbieri, Giuseppe Andreoni

Chapter 4. Cybersecurity and the Evolutions of Healthcare: Challenges and Threats Behind Its Evolution

Healthcare is among the fields that adopted ICT very early to improve physicians’ work. The digital transformation in healthcare started already some years ago, with the computerization of hospitals. Todays’ healthcare is at the forefront again, as one of the most attacked and profitable areas of exploitation for cybercriminals and cyberterrorists. The overabundance of valuable information, its nature of critical infrastructure and its mobile services, are at the centre of cybercriminals attentions. Besides, patients and physicians, both went through a massive digital transformation; nowadays, healthcare operators and users are highly digitalized and mobile. This evolution influences how, respectively, healthcare operators and patients offer and consume services. The present chapter starts from a presentation of how the modern workforces changed their working paradigms and then introduces the concepts of Hospital 2.0 and patient ecosystem. The chapter also explores the cyberterrorism and cybercrime, present and future threats landscapes, including the mobile health example.
Enrico Frumento

Chapter 5. A Data Protection Perspective on Training in the mHealth Sector

The mHealth services have brought to the healthcare operators, professionals and patients numerous advantages and, at the same time, opened a door to new cyber-threats that might have a significant influence on patient’s health and life. Often, cyber-attacks are successful due to a human error and a poor knowledge about the cyber-security. Therefore, deploying innovative trainings of healthcare professionals could lead to a higher level of the cyber-resilience. This chapter explores how the healthcare operators may do so in a legally compliant manner by examining the implications of the new General Data Protection Regulation.
Erik Kamenjasevic, Danaja Fabcic Povse

Chapter 6. Device for mHealth

Nowadays, wearable technology is the most promising and market growing technology. Wearable can be considered the winning card up to the mHealth sleeve. Despite mHealth born around the 2000s, only in the last lustrum, it has seen a massive diffusion both for monitoring and diagnosis. Moreover, many existing devices and products have been equipped with data transmission technologies in order to improve the capability of communicating data over the Internet by means of mobile devices (smartphone or tablet) or direct connection. Data transmission allow for communicating health data directly to physicians. This permits to monitor the patient from a distance directly from home, increasing their life quality and, in the meantime, decreasing the welfare costs. This chapter wants to be a compendium of the existing solution in term of wearable, but also non-wearable devices for mobile health. The last paragraph of the chapter reports current and future development of wearable devices, with invisible technology, smart garments, and Wearable 2.0.
Paolo Perego

Chapter 7. Big Data and Signal Processing in mHealth

In this chapter, we present and discuss the state-of-the-art technology for the use of mHealth as a relevant source of clinical information. Then, we provide an overview of the signal processing pipelines that, up to date, are most suitable for the processing of data collected from sensors in unsupervised environments, as at home.
Massimo W. Rivolta, Roberto Sassi

Chapter 8. mHealth Services: Examples and Future Perspectives

The potential impact of the adoption of mHealth solutions on the health care and social care sectors has become clearer and key stakeholders have been involved. Despite these improvements, mobile telemedicine remains a grey area: problems persist in the lack of interoperability between mHealth solutions and EU healthcare systems and liability for damages caused by the use of mHealth solutions are still unclear. However, some lessons emerge by the experiences developed so far.
Gabriella Borghi, Loredana Luzzi, Cristina Masella

Chapter 9. The Healthcare System Perspective in mHealth

mHealth is gradually leveraging changes in the way health care can be delivered. This transformation is driven by increased mobile devices’ penetration and capabilities, along with growing patient data demand. New opportunities arise in the areas of telemedicine and patient monitoring as conventional clinical services (including Electronic Medical Record systems) can be integrated with mHealth devices and applications at the patient level. The benefits of mHealth can be enhanced by patient segmentation strategies and customization of services, in a way that is intended to be patient centered to meet the individual needs. Current trends and developments in technology such as rapid advances in the use of blockchains, machine learning, and artificial intelligence technologies have the potential to open unprecedented opportunities in mHealth and healthcare services. For these opportunities to translate into real benefits, further research and multi-stakeholder efforts are needed, for example, to address the issues of interoperability, information governance mechanisms, regulation and certification, and the sustainability of mHealth over the long term.
Alessia Paglialonga, Anisha A. Patel, Erica Pinto, Dora Mugambi, Karim Keshavjee

Chapter 10. Conclusion

As discussed in Chap. 4 of the book, today we assist to a blending between private and professional lives due to the flexibility to work at any time from different locations. A blending facilitated by the diffusion of ubiquitous technologies that allows to merge seamlessly physical and virtual encounters. The recent global recession directly increased the dynamicity of the labor market fostering the adoption of more flexibility and more mobility. Thanks to mobile and ubiquitous terminals, a user could complete a task in any possible place, home, public spaces or company offices. From a technological point of view, this trend promotes the evolution of the so-called digital ecosystems: communities of people who interact, exchange information, combine, evolve in terms of knowledge, skills, and contacts, in order to improve their lives and meet their needs. The mobilization of our lives dramatically changed our behaviors in many ways, not only for the ubiquitous communication they support. This transformation crosses several domains and does not only interests the healthcare area. However, health care, being one of the crucial sectors for the correct functioning of a society, is heavily affected. The transformations undergoing in the healthcare domain affects not only the infrastructure but also the common habits of healthcare workers. This, as demonstrated in the book has economic, technological, and ICT security consequences.
Enrico Frumento


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