Healthcare Technology Featured Article

June 13, 2013

mHealth Could Eliminate $133B from Healthcare Spending in Europe

The Groupe Speciale Mobile Association (GSMA) released a report last week indicating that mobile health technology (mHealth) could knock £85 billion (U.S. $133 billion) off of European healthcare spend.

According to the report, mHealth can cut costs, improve efficiency and enhance lifestyles, resulting in less money spent on healthcare in Europe. In addition to cutting expenses, mHealth could add £79.1 billion ($124 billion) to EU GDP.

One benefit of mHealth would be increased access to care. In fact, mHealth could treat an additional 24.5 million patients without the addition of a single doctor. This statistic is important because the EU, like the U.S., currently faces a doctor shortage. Potentially, mHealth solutions could eliminate 42 million doctor working days annually by 2017.

mHealth's greatest advantage, however, would be better treatment and lower costs for patients with chronic conditions like diabetes, congestive heart failure or hypertension. For example, by enabling remote patient monitoring and increased treatment compliance, mHealth could cut as much as 35 percent off of the cost of chronic care.

Additionally, 9.4 million people at risk of developing chronic conditions could receive earlier diagnosis. Over 11 billion chronic patients and 9.4 million elderly patients could take advantage of remote monitoring. The 23 million Europeans that either have a chronic disease already or are in danger of developing a chronic disease could improve their condition by using mobile devices to help with lifestyle improvements and preventive measures.

All in all, mHealth could help as many as 185 million patients to lead healthier lives, resulting in a gain of 158,000 years of extra life. By saving lives and by helping patients with chronic conditions to be more productive, mHealth could add £79.1 billion ($124 billion) to European GDP.

The GSMA argues that EU healthcare officials aren't doing enough to integrate mHealth into the EU's healthcare strategy. For instance, GSMA recommends integrating mHealth into each country's specific healthcare priorities. Also, GSMA recommends encouraging mHealth innovation by clarifying certification and speeding up time-to-market while still ensuring end-user safety.

"Much more needs to be done by regulators and governments within the EU to incentivize, encourage and drive the adoption of mHealth for the benefit of all the region’s citizens," said Michael O'Hara, GSMA's Chief Marketing Officer.

The study was commissioned by GSMA and written by accounting firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

Edited by Alisen Downey

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