Healthcare Technology Featured Article

February 15, 2012

Create Connected mHealth Apps at a Reasonable Cost

With the aim of decreasing the complexities and problems presented by data silos, AT&T has announced a beta version of the AT&T Developer Center ForHealth. Designed with an open framework and set of developer tools, the AT&T Developer Center ForHealth has been created to optimize, speed up and lower costs for the deployment and management of enterprise-grade mHealth applications.

In a release, Chris Hill, Vice President, Advanced Mobility Solutions, AT&T Business Solutions, said, "Developers are the true innovators that will drive mHealth forward. We're creating an ecosystem where they can easily utilize an open environment to build apps that transmit consumers' data from a variety of sources in a highly-secure manner. The AT&T Developer Center ForHealth is fundamental to our mHealth strategy, as we plan to use the same infrastructure and services that we make available to developers to create our own interconnected healthcare applications focused on mobile patient care and enterprise mobilization."  

Even as the use of mobile devices among consumers and clinical professionals for tracking down and managing of healthcare outcomes is continually increasing, it has been estimated that by 2015 there will 500 million mHealth app users worldwide. The problem with mHealth apps however, is that they come with limited capabilities for accessing and sharing of information primarily because data is siloed. This means that data is hugely in-accessible because it is cached in disparate, proprietary systems which cannot be integrated easily.

Healthcare companies are bound by the type of information they can easily capture, and for consumers this means they can only access data which is stored independently.

The latest offering from AT&T features a robust mobility infrastructure and comes with tools which can scale up to support entrepreneurial developers, large healthcare enterprise customers, and small independent software vendors alike. The Developer Center will ensure that disparate applications can be integrated as per the needs of the healthcare consumer and provide them with a more comprehensive and customized healthcare experience.

High capital costs and technological restrictions have hampered the development of interconnected mHealth apps. This has resulted in data siloed in apps which are standalone "electronic log books." mHealth data which is integrated over applications and devices increases in use as it enables users to share data with other apps without having to manually key information for each app.

Marco Smit, President, Health 2.0 Advisors, said, "We are proud to have the AT&T Developer Center ForHealth as the mobile ecosystem of choice for our Health 2.0 Developer Challenges. We look forward to seeing a growing number of developers and companies take advantage of the environment to build successful new apps that can help improve health outcomes."

Calvin Azuri is a contributing editor for HealthTechZone. To read more of Calvin’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves

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