The role of mobile health technologies in allergy care: An EAACI position paper.
- Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Mobile health (mHealth) uses mobile communication devices such as smartphones and tablet computers to support and improve health-related services, data and information flow, patient self-management, surveillance, and disease management from the moment of first diagnosis to an optimized treatment. The European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology created a task force to assess the state of the art and future potential of mHealth in allergology. The task force endorsed the "Be He@lthy, Be Mobile" WHO initiative and debated the quality, usability, efficiency, advantages, limitations, and risks of mobile solutions for allergic diseases. The results are summarized in this position paper, analyzing also the regulatory background with regard to the "General Data Protection Regulation" and Medical Directives of the European Community. The task force assessed the design, user engagement, content, potential of inducing behavioral change, credibility/accountability, and privacy policies of mHealth products. The perspectives of healthcare professionals and allergic patients are discussed, underlining the need of thorough investigation for an effective design of mHealth technologies as auxiliary tools to improve quality of care. Within the context of precision medicine, these could facilitate the change in perspective from clinician- to patient-centered care. The current and future potential of mHealth is then examined for specific areas of allergology, including allergic rhinitis, aerobiology, allergen immunotherapy, asthma, dermatological diseases, food allergies, anaphylaxis, insect venom, and drug allergy. The impact of mobile technologies and associated big data sets are outlined. Facts and recommendations for future mHealth initiatives within EAACI are listed.