I was recently in Beijing with Qualcomm’s CEO, Steve Mollenkopf, to announce the launch of the China Center for mHealth Innovation (CCmHI), an exciting new Wireless Reach initiative. Wireless Reach and The George Institute for Global Health are collaborating on the creation of this groundbreaking new center that endeavors to change the landscape of mHealth in China.
Hosted by The George Institute for Global Health at Peking University Health Science Center, the CCmHI is a place where medical and engineering researchers can work side-by-side and in collaboration with representatives from government ministries, academic institutions and private-sector businesses to develop advanced wireless solutions targeting the 10 leading causes of premature death and disability in China.
Among those causes, the CCmHI will address stroke, ischemic heart disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease-the top three leading causes of premature death in China. Other leading causes of disease burden that the Center will target include diabetes, kidney disease and cancer and I believe that the CCmHI’s work will, ultimately, help reduce that global burden and enable many more people to lead healthier lives.
China’s Twelfth Five Year Plan (2011-2015) prioritizes the development of affordable, quality and accessible healthcare for China’s entire population and the CCmHI was created to support this goal of improving community health care in China.
What I find especially important about the CCmHI’s mission is that researchers are prioritizing the development of mHealth solutions that will provide community health workers with evidence-based, personalized guidance about the care of individual patients. This work will strengthen the ability of China’s frontline health workers to deliver quality health care, even in resource-scarce areas.
As the world’s most populous country with an estimated 1.4 billion people, China’s size makes it an ideal place to locate a world-class research institute that will develop innovative mHealth tools and field-test these solutions in large-scale programs that could ultimately benefit people around the world.
Through my work with Wireless Reach, I visit China often and I’m excited to see the innovations that will emerge from this pioneering collaboration, how they will support the Central Government’s deepened commitment to health care reform and, more than anything, how they will be used to improve life for the people of China.