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Open mHealth

By March 1, 2011 One Comment

Dr. Deborah Estrin is the Jon Postal Chair in Computer Networks at UCLA, and is leading the Open mHealth Center for Embedded Networked Sensing (CENS) Project. I had the privilege of speaking with Dr. Estrin this morning, and it was great to talk with somebody who is passionate about the “plumbing” that is necessary for all of the data that mHealth services are able to collect. The plumbing isn’t very sexy to talk about, but it’s an extremely important aspect of mHealth utility and innovation. This diagram does a great job of showing the benefits of an open mhealth architecture:

Open mHealth Architecture - Diagram by Dr. Deborah Estrin and Dr. Ida Sim
Diagram by Dr. Estrin & Dr. Sim

Open mHealth is Open Data

I share the belief that health data is owned by the patient and should be portable. As a health consumer, I should be able to mix and match the health applications that are important to me AND view all of my data wherever I want to view it. This means that new value propositions and business models will need to be explored around the movement of data as opposed to the ownership of data by third party services. It’s very exciting to talk with others pushing in the same direction.

To get you as excited about this idea as I am, I will leave you with an excerpt from a paper Dr. Estrin co-authored with Dr. Ida Sim called, Open mHealth Architecture: An Engine for Health Care Innovation. Please feel free to reach out to me if mHealth plumbing fires you up:

By opening mHealth architecture, and thus lowering the barriers to entry, a broad community of patients, clinicians, family, and others could be involved in collaborative, participatory design of mHealth apps, providing new tools for extending care into the daily lives of families and communities.

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