Australia at risk of falling behind

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Visiting CEO of mobile and e-Health company G Medical Innovations (ASX:GMV), Dr Yacov Geva, has warned Australia of the need to significantly increase internet speeds.

Speaking at this week's Biotech Invest Expo, Dr Geva said Australia is at risk of falling behind other advanced countries when it comes to connected devices and their ability to embrace the breakthroughs taking place, most especially in e-health.

Israel-based G Medical, which Dr Geva founded, has developed the Prizma Medical Smartphone Jacket.

One of two products developed by G Medical, the Prizma allows consumers to turn their smartphone into a mobile medical monitor to measure a wide range of vital signs. Users can store their medical data in the cloud and share it with any third party, including healthcare professionals and family.

According to Dr Geva, significant breakthroughs are regularly taking place in this burgeoning part of the healthcare industry with the potential to deliver life and cost-saving benefits.

“While Australia has a strong global reputation for its high standard of living, the country does not even rank in the top 50 globally when it comes to internet speeds. We are proud to be an ASX-listed company and know that Australia is considered by many to be ‘The Lucky Country’,” he said.

“That said, unless something changes quickly, it runs the real risk of falling behind other advanced countries in its ability to embrace the benefits offered by the very latest in eHealth and mHealth technology. Quite frankly, this goes well beyond the ability to get quicker Google search results or stream online content – the ability to fully leverage the latest breakthroughs in health technology is a matter of life and death,” continued Dr Geva.

“If we consider just the global mHealth-enabled care market alone, which was worth US$17.2 billion in 2016, the bulk of these global revenues come from services for diagnostics, monitoring, chronic disease management, and ageing applications. Of these, the fastest growing segments include mobile tools and healthcare apps, which have grown at 26% and 14%, respectively, between 2013 to 2016,” he said.

“G Medical’s ‘Prizma’ medical smartphone case is a good example of the type of important innovation leading the sector. Essentially, the ‘Prizma’ is a ‘doctor in your pocket’; a smartphone case that fits over a standard smartphone, turning it into a clinical-grade health monitoring device capable of measuring a number of vital signs. This information is then stored over the cloud and shared with health care providers and concerned family members alike to remotely monitor the status of an individual’s medical condition,” explained Dr Geva.

“An obvious application of this technology would be for remote communities that have limited, or challenged access to health care – and with this issue comes the question of internet speed and the adoption of technologies facilitated by this,” added Dr Geva.

BiotechDispatch sat down for an extended interview with Dr Geva. The interview will be published next week.