Mobile health apps that measure your blood pressure or remind you to take your medication could save the EU 99 billion euros in healthcare costs by 2017, according to the European Commission.
Aiming to boost the app economy, the Commission is now asking developers, industry and users how mobile phones can make EU healthcare systems more efficient.
“mHealth or mobile health will reduce costly visits to hospitals, put people in control of their own health and wellbeing, and lead to prevention rather than cure. It is also a great opportunity for the booming app economy and for entrepreneurs. I personally use a sports-band on my wrist to measure how active I am from day to day, so I am a great supporter of mHealth already. Today the European Commission is launching a consultation on mHealth. Please send us your input to this consultation, and help us become global leaders in this fascinating area.' said EU Commissioner for Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes.
But there are concerns over data protection rules and what requirements should apply to the apps in order to ensure health data is safe.
There are nearly 100,000 mHealth applications already available. The top 20 free sports, fitness and health apps already account for 231 million downloads worldwide.