Photo by Eduardo García Cruz / CC BY-SA 2.0

This is the question Martyna Giedrojć, Policy Officer for Health Systems at the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA), recently raised in light of the recent policy developments on mHealth.

As a matter of fact, an industry-led Privacy Code of Conduct for Mobile Health Apps is currently being finalized, awaiting the opinion of national Data Protection Authorities, as are the guidelines for the assessment of the validity and reliability of mHealth apps. Yet, as Martyna Giedrojć reminded, policy makers and regulators are struggling to keep up with technological development and their social consequences…

While digital health solutions become more widely available, the competences (digital and health literacy mainly) needed to make best use of these solutions remain unequally shared among Europeans. How older people, refugees and migrants, homeless, people with mental health issues or physical impairments will benefit from this opportunity to self manage their own health?

Beyond the technological developments, policy makers should consider the social impacts the development of such technologies have on society in order to avoid translating the digital divide into further disadvantage and health inequalities.

Read Martyna Giedrojć’s article: