Ana Castilho

mHealth - Smartphone - Green Paper on mHealth - Digital Agenda for Europe - Public Consultation

Until 3 July 2014 the European Commission, through Digital Agenda for Europe – DG Connect, has an open Public Consultation on the Green paper on mobile health (source: Green Paper report)


Public Consultation

A Public Consultation is related with the Participatory Democracy, a process that emphasizes:

 “(…) broad participation of constituents in the direction and operation of political systems, (…) strives to create opportunities for all members of a population to make meaningful contributions to decision-making and seeks to broaden the range of people who have access to such opportunities.” (Source: Wikipedia).

The Public Consultation is an approach of a Participatory Democracy and the European Commission through the DG Connect, gives Europeans forms of participation in decision-making, seeking to understand citizens point-of-views.


Mobile Health or mHealth

According with the World Health Organisation (WHO), mHealth means:

“(…) medical and public health practice supported be mobile devices, such as mobile phones, patient monitoring devices, personal digital assistants (PDAs), and other wireless devices”  (Source: WHO – World Health Organisation – mHealth – New horizons for health through mobile technologies)


Responsible for the Digital Agenda, Neelie Kroes (European Commission Vice-President) (@NeelieKroesEU), also says that:

mHealth will reduce costly visits to hospitals, help citizens take charge of their own health and wellbeing, and move towards 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. Please send us your input into this consultation to help us become global leaders in this fascinating area.” (Source: EU Press Release)


“There are nearly 100,000 mHealth #apps already available across multiple platforms”


Green Paper on Mobile Health

According with the European Commission (EC), the organisation has launched a public consultation on the Green Paper on Mobile Health, announced in the eHealth Action Plan 2012-2020.

As any Public Consultation, citizens are invited to comment about a certain topic, in this case according with the “barriers and issues related to the use of mobile health including health and wellbeing apps, smart watches etc.” (Source: Digital Agenda)

Citizen’s inputs will help identify procedures to unlock the full power of mHealth in Europe. According with the Green Paper report shared by EC, the commission exposed several fields that are in need to be explored regarding mHealth, such as:

  • Data protection, including security of health data
  • Big data
  • State of play on the applicable EU legal framework
  • Patient safety and transparency of information
  • mHealth role in healthcare systems and equal access
  • Interoperability
  • Reimbursement models
  • Liability
  • Research and innovation in mHealth
  • International cooperation
  • Access of web entrepreneurs to the mHealth market


“By 2017, 3.4 billion people worldwide will own a smartphone and half of them will be using mHealth apps” 


See also the infographic that DG Connect made for the subject:

(Click on the image to view the full size)
Green Paper on mHealth - Digital Agenda for Europe - Public Consultation


How to respond (until 3rd July)?

  • Respond online
  • Email your answers, attaching your reply as Word, PDF or ODF document.
  • Write to:
    European Commission
    DG Communications Networks, Content & Technology
    Avenue de Beaulieu/Beaulieulaan 31
    Unit H1, Health & Well-being
    Brussels 1049 – Belgium

Results will be known 3 months after the end of the consultation.


Want to know more about this subject? Read the following reports:


Have you or your company responded to the Consultation? Share your thoughts with us, bellow in the comments.

(image: Sebastiaan ter Burg)

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