mHealth Grand Tour in the starting blocks

The mHealth Grand Tour organised by GSMA, the association representing the mobile operators worldwide, in partnership with the International Diabetes Federation Europe (IDF Europe) and under the patronage of the Vice President of the European Commission Neelie Kroes, departed on 5 September from the Autoworld Museums in Brussels. The 13-day cycling challenge will end up in Barcelona on 18 September after 2,100 km.

The Grand Tour was conceived to raise awareness of diabetes and showcase the power of mHealth solutions as well as to bring together the different partners involved (pharma, mobile operators, healthcare providers, technology companies, patients, governments) to share their experience and demonstrate the potential of mHealth as part of the solution.

The number of people in the EU affected by diabetes is increasing, reaching up to 55 million people in the European Union according to IDF. It is expected to increase to 64 million people in 2030. If not managed effectively, diabetes can lead to serious and costly health consequences. Self-management is a key element in this chronic disease although daily management can be very challenging. mHealth solutions can play an important role in addressing the burden of this condition in Europe by improving primary prevention, supporting healthcare professionals and offering solutions for self-management.

In the latest released version of the COCIR toolkit on eHealth, COCIR has put forward its views on the benefits and barriers of the development of mHealth as well as key recommendations towards policy-makers. We believe mHealth can enable new models of care that improve access and quality, empower patients and make healthcare systems more sustainable in the long term.