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Change lives. Change organizations. Change the world.
Texting again at 3 a.m.? Your phone could tell your doctor. The habits and symptoms your smartphone can know about you are fast becoming part of a powerful medical toolkit. Mobile software applications collectively known as mHealth have the potential to extend the reach of health interventions far beyond that of traditional care, especially for chronic diseases. After all, treatments for diabetes, asthma, or obesity require everyday vigilance, not just occasional clinic visits.
New and valuable mHealth apps are coming out all the time. But for each one, the developer has to reinvent all the basic components, creating from scratch the data path from phone to caregiver. “The rate of innovation and the spread of this technology are held back because everything is coming out one siloed product or project at a time,” says Deborah Estrin, professor of computer science at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Instead, Estrin suggests, the field could develop an open architecture in