From underestimation to valorization: how mobile technology is transforming global health

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Mr. Lucas Gheller Machado and Mr. Mateus Magalhães Crippa, two 19 year-old medical students at the third year of their studies in Brazil. They are affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writers and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


Today, the world reality is viewed from an easier perspective with regard to access to information and the eradication of several diseases that were once considered potentially deadly. However, to reach this level that humanity is at, several changes have occurred and had to occur in the past in order to be able to minimize impacts and social evolution. Oswaldo Cruz, for example, was an essential sanitary doctor in the fight against yellow fever, bubonic plague and smallpox, which, regardless of other determinants, made it possible to mitigate the impacts that the population could suffer. Currently, according to the World Health Organization, several diseases, such as cardiovascular, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, HIV, lung cancer and diabetes mellitus result in a rate of more than 22 million deaths per year, representing approximately 10% of the Brazilian population every year. In this sense, despite the efficacy of conventional, adjuvant and neoadjuvant treatments, access to information remains the basis of the therapeutic success adopted by professionals, since, although there is an indication for treatment, if there is no patient compliance, the treatment will probably not be effective. This is one of the examples found today that reflects the importance of information as a fundamental core to help raise awareness of the individual as a modifying agent for himself and society in general. 1

One study pointed out that ten and fifteen years after quitting smoking, the risk of lung cancer ends up being halved and similar to those who have never smoked, respectively. 2 In addition, there is an effective HIV prevention measure which is education for safer sex practices. 3 Last but not least, weight loss in overweight people can reduce the incidence of diabetes. 4 In this bias, despite having the guidance of health systems, they find it difficult to promote this continuing education, so that individuals are also informed and remembered in their homes, without having to go to the health unit. Therefore, mobile technologies appear as an extremely valid alternative in supporting individuals, mainly for promoting individual and targeted support. 5

Furthermore, the use of mobile technologies is not restricted to a specific group of diseases, on the contrary, it affects even diseases with no apparent cure, such as Parkinson’s disease (PD). A study revealed that the care of PD patients will undergo significant changes in the coming years. The implementation of electronic patient-controlled health records (EHR) and the technology-based home monitoring system are likely to constitute new trends in efficacy in PD, as they enable substantial empowerment and remote monitoring of motor and non-motor manifestations of the disease. 6

From the underestimation that has spread for years to the valorization through the perception of its potential effectiveness, mobile technology has been transforming global health like never before imagined. Mobile technology is not the future: it is the present.

References

  1. World Health Organization (2011) World Health Statistics, 2011. Geneva: WHO.
  2. Doll R, Peto R, Wheatley K, Gray R, Sutherland I (1994) Mortality in relation to smoking: 40 years’ observations on male British doctors. BMJ 309: 901–911.
  3. UNAIDS (2003) AIDS Epidemic update.
  4. Hamman RF, Wing RR, Edelstein SL, Lachin JM, Bray GA, et al. (2006) Effect of weight loss with lifestyle intervention on risk of diabetes. DIABETES CARE 29: 2102–2107.
  5. Free C, Phillips G, Galli L, et al. The effectiveness of mobile-health technology-based health behaviour change or disease management interventions for health care consumers: a systematic review. PLoS Med. 2013;10(1):e1001362. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001362
  6. Hansen C, Sanchez-Ferro A, Maetzler W. How Mobile Health Technology and Electronic Health Records Will Change Care of Patients with Parkinson’s Disease. J Parkinsons Dis. 2018;8(s1):S41-S45. doi:10.3233/JPD-181498

About the authors

Lucas Gheller Machado is 19 years old and he courses the third year of
medicine. Currently, he is local coordinator of IFMSA Brasil UniCesumar,
president of the Miguel Nicolelis Academic Center (CAMN), president of the
Academic League of Intensive Medicine in Maringá (LAMIM) and member of the Academic League of Medical Genetics (LAGeM). In addition, he constantly participates in Humanizart social actions, aimed at serving vulnerable populations and collaborating with humanization in the streets and hospitals. His objective is to combine graduation with scientific and artistic development, constituting a formation of solid and essential pillars.

Mateus Magalhães Crippa is 19 years old and he courses the third year of
medicine. In the present moment, he is a member of the academic league of
intensive medicine in Maringá (LAMIM) and a member of the academic league of endocrinology and metabology in Maringá (LAEMMA), in which he is director of marketing. In addition, he presented the work, the result of a scientific project, at the 11th International Meeting on Scientific Production (XI EPCC), entitled “Perinatal Repercussions of Obesity”. Accordingly, their academic purposes are based on scientifically contributing to global health and, above all, supporting a robust medical education, so that their contributions in the area of health are even greater.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

What we need for a better European Solidarity Corps

Main results of Environment Council of 09 October 2018

EU to scrutinise foreign direct investment more closely

Yemen war: UN-backed talks to silence the guns due to begin in Stockholm

Galileo and EGNOS programmes back in orbit powered with €70 billion

80 adolescents a day will still die of AIDS by 2030, despite slowdown in epidemic

EU-US Trade: European Commission endorses rebalancing duties on US products

Tanzania’s Dual Burden

In Mozambique, it’s ‘a matter of the heart’ says Guterres, lauding the cyclone-struck nation’s ‘undeniable moral authority’

Forty-two countries adopt new OECD Principles on Artificial Intelligence

Eliminating hepatitis calls for ‘bold political leadership, with investments to match,’ UN health chief says

Peacekeeping: A ‘great opportunity’ to develop professionally and personally

EU job-search aid worth €2 million for 500 former shipbuilding workers in Spain

The gender gap of medicine in 2018

Scientists are growing meat on blades of grass

These cities score an ‘A’ for environmental action – but hundreds more are falling behind

The world needs a circular economy. Help us make it happen

3 trends that will transform the energy industry

Somalia: UN congratulates Puntland region’s newly-elected President

Climate change is a security threat. We must act now

How powering food storage could end hunger

This Netherlands football stadium creates its own energy and stores it in electric car batteries

Tourism offers much to the EU gets a little

Peace in the Gulf ‘at a critical juncture’ says DiCarlo, urging continuation of Iran nuclear deal

Next six months crucial for the EU, says von der Leyen at the start of the German Presidency of the Council of the EU

Russia must urgently step up fight against foreign bribery

UN forum spotlights cities, where struggle for sustainability ‘will be won or lost’

Corruption thwarts attempts to build a better world and ‘must be fought by all, for all’

How to make primary healthcare a favourable career choice for medical students: Strategies and reflections

UN chief hails victory of ‘political will’ in historic Republic of North Macedonia accord

The Amazon is reaching a dangerous tipping-point. We need to scale solutions now if we have any chance of saving it

Developing countries should not be liable for emissions ‘accumulated throughout history’, key UN development forum hears

Green Deal: Coal and other carbon-intensive regions and the Commission launch the European Just Transition Platform

Coronavirus update: UN addresses school disruptions, suspends public access to New York Headquarters

First Western Sahara talks at UN in six years, begin in Geneva

With millions of girls ‘at risk’ today of genital mutilation, UN chief calls for zero tolerance

Historian Niall Ferguson on what the pandemic means for the global economy, geopolitics – and parties

Trade barriers are slowing plastic-pollution action. Here’s how to fix it

Italy’s dilemma after Merkel-Hollande agreed loose banking union

EU: All economic indicators in free fall

Immigration crisis at its very worst: EU to outsource rescue business to North Africa?

Paradise islands of Pacific increasingly vulnerable to climate change, as UN boosts resilience

CEOs say these 4 factors will shape business in 2020

How Google is fighting fire with real-time mapping data

This new initiative aims to make cybercrime harder – and riskier – to commit

As conflicts become more complex, ‘mediation is no longer an option; it is a necessity’, UN chief tells Security Council

Marco Polo’s Dream

BRICS’ New Development Bank turns four: what has it achieved?

The Great Reset and digital trust: 3 lessons on digital tools from the COVID-19 crisis

This is how many people are forcibly displaced worldwide

European Parliament gives green light to Christine Lagarde

Upgraded EU visa information database to increase security at external borders

Is the ECB enforcing the will of the big Eurozone member states on the small? Can the euro area live with that?

EU budget: Commission proposes to increase funding to support the environment and climate action

UN forum to explore use of outer space to improve lives, protect planet

Beyond self-regulation: dealing with Europe’s consumption problem

Factory workers are facing a mental health crisis. Here’s how to respond

The Greta effect? Why businesses are more committed to climate action in 2020

Parenting in the time of COVID-19? Consider these 6 tips from the WHO

To all far-right partisans who exploit Charlie Hebdo atrocity: a peaceful reply given by a peaceful student

More Stings?

Advertising

Comments

  1. newswatchtv says:

    This is so well written and so wonderful. Thank you so much for this! Look forward to more of your articles.

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s