The M-Health Reference Model: An Organizing Framework for Conceptualizing Mobile Health Systems
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The reference model presented in this article encourages the breakdown of M-Health systems into the following five key dimensions: (1) Communication Infrastructure: a description of mobile telecommunication technologies and networks; (2) Device Type: the type of device being used, such as PDA, sensor, or tablet PC; (3) Data Display: describes how the data will be displayed to the user and transmitted, such as images, e-mail, and textual data; (4) Application Purpose: identification of the objective for the M-Health system; (5) Application Domain: definition of the area in which the system will be implemented. Healthcare stakeholders and system implementer can use the reference model presented in this article to understand the security implications of the proposed system and to identify the technological infrastructure, business requirements, and operational needs of the M-Health systems being implemented. A reference model that encapsulates the emerging M-Health field is needed for cumulative progress in this field. Currently, the M-Health field is disjointed, and it is often unclear what constitutes an M-Health system. In the future, M-Health applications will take advantage of technological advances such as device miniaturizations, device convergence, high-speed mobile networks, and improved medical sensors. This will lead to the increased diffusion of clinical M-Health systems, which will require better understanding of the components that constitute the M-Health system.