Mobile health systems, what do they have to offer and how they will affect medical practice?

Saturday 3 June, 16h00-16h45, Room 5

Mobile telecommunication and information technologies (ICT) are changing the field of medicine and health. In this lecture, Professor Walter Karlen (Mobile Health Systems Lab, Institute of Robotics and Intelligent Systems, Department of Health Sciences and Technology, ETH Zurich, Switzerland) will look at how ubiquitous devices such as smartphones can be used as point-of-care tools to deliver timely medical assessments and treatments.

“Networking, high computational power, and portability revolutionise access and scope of these devices, promoting a wave of technical innovation and novel treatment models,” says Prof Karlen. “However, this comes with a number of technical and medical challenges that will guide the research and development of mobile health technologies in the coming years and that I would like to highlight in this talk.”

Miniaturised sensors in consumer technologies are limited in quality and reliability, and Prof Karlen will say that novel approaches are needed for sensor development and information processing. How will all the information available be processed and made sense of? Easy access to medical technology will enable self-management of many chronic diseases. Low-cost devices will provide access to previously inaccessible technology to under-resourced medical systems.

Prof Karlen will ask: “How can the quality of the service be kept high, while the medical knowledge and education of the user is reduced? All these aspects call for medical automation and intelligent user-machine interaction where difficult and error-prone tasks are offloaded to the device. These automated approaches and methodologies will not only have applications in point-of-care and home monitoring, but might also transform other medical areas such as intensive care and anaesthesia.”