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GSM Association and the University of Manchester to establish an m-Health Innovation Centre

The GSM Association today announced that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Manchester to establish an m-Health Innovation Centre in Manchester, which will act as a UK focus for m-Health activity.

The goal of the GSM Association (GMSA)'s m-Health initiative is to encourage mobile applications and services in healthcare that will promote healthier lifestyles and early intervention.

The Manchester m-Health Innovation Centre will conduct multidisciplinary research and bring together researchers, healthcare organizations and industrial partners to conceive, develop and evaluate mobile health innovations. Their focus will be on citizen-led health and wellbeing, using mobile technology to allow people a more active role in determining their own health and to provide a more personalized interface for public services.

The centre in Manchester will provide a forum for collaboration and sharing ideas, providing in-depth analysis of the market for m-Health, signposting key opportunities, conducting pilot trials, organizing community events, providing m-Health education and training, and offering online resources and one-to-one services to support the emerging m-Health community.

‘A combination of mobile and healthcare can deliver tremendous benefits, such as cost savings for healthcare providers, as well as convenience and improved quality of life for patients,’ said Michael O'Hara, Chief Marketing Officer at the GSMA. ‘We are delighted to be collaborating with the University of Manchester, a leading centre for Health Informatics research, innovation and education, and whose deep expertise and focus makes them an ideal partner for our m-Health collaboration.’

‘We very much value the opportunity to work with the GSMA to translate our innovative ideas into practice,’ said Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell FRS, Deputy President and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Manchester. ‘Sustainable health and wellbeing represent a major challenge for society worldwide, and the transformational potential of mobile technology in promoting innovative citizen-led health initiatives provides exciting opportunities.’

The Manchester m-Health Innovation Centre is working on a variety of health projects that can use mobile technology, including 'assisted living applications' prompting patients (e.g. people with psychotic disorders) to record the medication they are taking, their symptoms and their mood in real time via their mobile phone. Using mobile technology for prompting and feedback is particularly relevant for young people, who are the largest group of sufferers of psychotic disorders in the UK.

Other projects are planned, such as Virtual Health Kiosks, linked seamlessly and securely to clinical and/or personal health record systems via mobile technology, for monitoring blood pressure, pulse, temperature and glucose levels at home or in the office.

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