Industry Canada must accommodate the need for m-Health in its spectrum allocation review.
advances in mobile technology have the potential to transform the way health care is delivered that enables the transformation from physician-centric to patient-centric health care delivery and includes some optimistic numbers e.g., m-Health’s potential value to be up to $10 billion dollars within the next five years.
Ottawa, ON -- CATAAlliance, Canada's largest high tech association today launched an advocacy campaign that recommends Industry Canada accommodate m-Health in its spectrum allocation review. The Campaign, known as "m-Health Real Time", forms an integral part of the industry's Innovation Nation program, a program, under the tutelage of Canada's leading entrepreneur, Sir Terence Matthews that lays out what we must do as a nation to achieve digital leadership for the 21st Century.
(Arthur D. Little)
According to CATA CEO John Reid, "Recent emergencies in public health and increased reliance on m-Health (mobile Health) have demonstrated the criticality of getting the right information securely into the hands of those who need it most, in real time, and across jurisdictional boundaries."
He added, "Enhancing quality, improving convenience, extending reach and reducing cost of healthcare are the potential benefits of m-Health should the underlying mobile infrastructure be designed to provide ubiquitous broadband "medical grade" performance. Local governments, public safety and healthcare agencies across the country are evaluating the benefits of broadband wireless mobile networks for remote access to information, both mission critical and routine, to improve real-time situational awareness for better decision making and to enhance collaboration and information sharing."
Why is m-Health Left Out?
The Federal Government has recognized the criticality of the situation and has allocated mobile broadband (20 MHz under consideration) dedicated spectrum in the 700 MHz band to be shared by all public safety agencies operating in Canada under municipal, provincial and federal jurisdictions.
Nevertheless, at the moment, EMS (Emergency Medical Services) is included in the definition of "Public Safety" and will have access, but Healthcare will not, unless Industry Canada accommodates the need of m-Health in its review.
Industry Canada is currently evaluating and attempting to answer, in a public consultation process (SMSE-007-12), the key question in whose answer potentially lie great opportunities for Canada’s Digital Leadership for the 21st Century.
The question is: "Who, besides Police, Fire and EMS should have interoperability and access to the secure LTE dedicated broadband mobile networks, once deployed across the country?"
The digital leadership answer is: m-Health/Healthcare and other Public real-time social services.
The opportunities for Canada arise from the fact that I.C. is planning to allocate the same 20 MHz spectrum as the FCC has allocated to Public Safety in the U.S. but with Canada only having 1/10 of the traffic demand. We can accommodate m-Health, while Homeland Security and first respondents in the U.S. will argue they need the full 20MHz.
The efficiencies and cost reductions generated by ubiquitous m-Health use would greatly help fund the building and the on-going operation of these deployments.
It has been projected (Juniper Research) that by the year 2014, public and private healthcare providers could save between 1.96 billion and 5.83 billion dollars annually in healthcare costs by utilizing m-Health technologies in the area of health monitoring alone worldwide.
The report by Juniper Research indicates that the U.S. and Canada markets have the potential to generate the most cost savings because of their high healthcare costs. Researchers in the U.S and Canada have estimated an overall cost savings in
Healthcare due to the universal adoption of m-Health to be between 5% and 10% annually.
These savings, which would arise from efficiencies improvements, however, are predicated on pervasive adoption of m-Health by the medical profession. This will occur only if the underlying wireless/mobile infrastructure is fully trustworthy end-to-end, via "medical grade" dedicated m-Health networks. In Canada such efficiency improvements may represent some 15 billion dollars annually.
Healthcare participation would justify the Return on Investment of building ubiquitous networks for all mobile social services secure and reliable real-time needs. Without Provincial Healthcare participation the municipal Police, Fire and EMS authorities will not be able to fund and justify the operating cost from operational savings.
Spectrum availability by itself will not produce the benefits to society; the Return on Investment will come from the construction of a gradually available "all of the time, and everywhere" dedicated secure broadband mobile infrastructure, encompassing all Public real-time social services such as:
- Fire (Municipal, Provincial)
- Police (Municipal, Provincial, Territorial and Federal)
- EMS (Municipal)
- Healthcare (Provincial, Federal)
- Utilities (Provincial, Municipal)
- Other governments’ real-time Social Services
- Jointly named: Governmental provided; Public Real-Time Social Services (PRTSS)
Industry Canada: Call to Action
According to CATA National Leadership Council Member, Michael Kedar, "Governments need to develop a strategic e-Health framework in order to provide access to dedicated mobile spectrum in which m-Health is an integral component. Such a framework would enable them to provide m-Health implementers with more guidance when deploying projects, to ensure alignment with their Governments’ e-Health information systems, and other relevant policies and aims to leverage technology for public good. This should include national health priorities, enterprise architecture for interoperability and data standards, and commonly used metrics evaluation techniques for assessing the impact of m-Health.
Our call to action (please view the seven minute video commentary on m-Health) is for Industry Canada to seize the unique opportunity to incorporate Healthcare and other PRTSS into its revised policy on the allocation of dedicated spectrum in the 700 MHz band.
Reid concluded, "If Canada is to become a competitive Innovation Nation, we've got to excel in key sectors such as healthcare where given the right conditions we can create new flagship enterprises and hundreds of SME's to supply domestic and global healthcare needs."
++ Your Action Item:
MP and Community Mobilization
Please send electronically and/or print out and fax the m-Health Real Time communiqué and follow up with a phone call to your local MP, media and network of contacts, inclusive of posting on your social media. In support of the communiqué, we are also providing upon request, briefing papers and submissions from Partner organizations. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with m-Health Real Time Campaign in the subject line.
We will be sending shortly details of a TeleForum Conference Call to discuss the m-Health Real Time Campaign and provide updates and offer a Q&A with industry experts. You will be invited to join our CATAAlliance social media Group to ensure that you receive instant updates, peer contact information, and opportunities to dialogue and provide guidance to the advocacy team.