Mobile health: an emerging technology with implications for global internal medicine

As mobile technology evolves and broadens its scope across the community, the emerging field of mobile health offers the potential to transform the landscape of healthcare delivery. Mobile health, also known as ‘mHealth’ or ‘connected health’, is a general term for the use of a mobile network in the practice of medicine and public health. It includes the use of mobile phones, patient monitoring devices, personal digital assistants and other wireless devices for the delivery of health information or monitoring.1

According to the International Telecommunication Union, worldwide there are now over 7 billion mobile‐cellular telephone subscriptions, 3.6 billion mobile broadband subscriptions2and over 165 000 mHealth apps available to consumers,3 demonstrating the global potential of mobile health intervention. With penetration like this, mHealth provides an opportunity to enhance medical care for individual patients, as well as the prospect of a potentially massive public health impact.