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Qual Saf Health Care 16:162-163 doi:10.1136/qshc.2006.021345
  • Editorial
  • Misconnecting for health

Misconnecting for health: (lack of) advice for professionals on the safe use of mobile phone technology

  1. Hilary Pinnock1,
  2. Roger Slack2,
  3. Aziz Sheikh3
  1. 1Allergy & Respiratory Research Group, Division of Community Health Sciences: GP Section, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  2. 2Sociology and Social Research, School of Social Sciences, University of Wales, Bangor, Gwynedd, UK
  3. 3Primary Care Research & Development, Allergy & Respiratory Research Group, Division of Community Health Sciences: GP Section, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr H Pinnock
 Allergy & Respiratory Research Group, Division of Community Health Sciences: GP Section, University of Edinburgh, 20 West Richmond St, Edinburgh EH8 9DX, UK; hilary.pinnock{at}ed.ac.uk

    Ensuring that good clinical practice keeps pace with technological innovation requires that safety and medico-legal issues are identified, and agreed nationally and internationally

    Healthcare systems globally are looking to developments in communication technology to help meet the challenge of providing care for the increasing numbers of people with long-term conditions.1,2 Mobile phones, with high penetration rates (>70% in Europe), may contribute significantly to this initiative. Diabetes, asthma, hypertension and coronary heart disease are examples of common long-term conditions in which the use of mobile phone-based technology may offer potential benefits.3,4

    Mobile phones, with their increasing capability for transmitting and receiving data in various formats (eg, text, audio and video), have been enthusiastically embraced by the general population, and are increasingly being explored as a means of improving access to care, transmitting monitoring data and supporting self-management.3,4 With utopian zeal, the NHS has stated that “millions of people with asthma, diabetes and other long-term conditions could soon receive text messages on how to stay fit and healthy”.5

    In reality, however, until now, clinical use of mobile phones has …

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