The push to use Information and Communication Technologies – specifically mobile technology (or mHealth) – to support healthcare has been driven by the need to find cost-effective ways to overcome two significant challenges on the horizon for healthcare in Europe: an ageing population suffering from a rise in chronic diseases and an associated rise in cost for provision of healthcare due to these conditions.
The use of mHealth is of interest to parties looking at ways to overcome these challenges because it enables a shift in focus towards early diagnosis and detection of changes in risk of disease, promotion of health and prevention, and self-management of chronic diseases.
For these reasons, the European mHealth Innovation and Knowledge Hub was established to collect and share national experiences on mHealth and to support countries and regions in setting up large-scale mHealth programmes.
To operationalise an mHealth Innovation Hub for integration into the national health systems in Europe.
To serve as a focal point for expertise on mHealth in the WHO European Region.
To assist countries in implementing mHealth strategies.
To act as facilitator of innovation in mHealth.
To act as an accelerator for the EU Digital Single Market.
To produce Knowledge Tools for health systems and services on NCDs.
To provide a code of ethics for mHealth data.
Investment in ‘Hubs’ (‘Knowledge Hubs’ or ‘Innovation Hubs’) allows countries to learn from the practical experiences of their peers, including what pitfalls to avoid, and what practices to adopt. It also allows countries with noteworthy development experiences to share their knowledge to either further refine their own experiences, or to develop meaningful international relationships with other countries wishing to learn from them. Hubs serve as a basis for researchers, project coordinators, experts and technical support teams to develop knowledge, capability and technical expertise in a particular field. The ‘Hub’ model has proven successful for scaling up solutions to a number of global problems.
The European mHealth Innovation and Knowledge Hub is intended to serve as a mechanism to share success in mHealth across the European region and boost uptake of mHealth solutions amongst national governments. At a high level, the proposed mHealth Hub will have a dual focus on knowledge management & innovation, and on practical implementation (supporting EU member states to launch large-scale mHealth interventions).