Journal article Open Access

Connected Health

Constantinos S. Pattichis; Andreas S. Panayides

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary1, the definition of the word “connected” (adjective) is (i) joined or linked together; (ii) having the parts or elements logically linked together. Similarly, according to the same source, the definition of the word health (noun) is (i) the condition of being sound in body, mind, or spirit; (ii) the general condition of the body, (iia) a condition in which someone or something is thriving or doing well, (iib) general condition or state. Thus, if we join the two corresponding definitions, it can be nferred that connected health is (i) joining or linking together the condition of being sound in body, mind, or spirit; (ii) having the parts or elements logically linked together for the general condition of the body (or state). These two definitions enrich our knowledge and help us to have a better understanding of the term connected health. Although there is no standard or accepted definition of connected health, several attempts have beenmade to define it as briefly presented herein. According to references (1, 2), connected health is an umbrella term arrived at to lessen the confusion over the definitions of telemedicine, telehealth, and mHealth. A very similar description is also given for the Connected Health—Mobile Health and Telehealth program of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering.2 According to the website of the program, it supports the development of enabling technologies that emphasize the integration of wireless technologies with human and biological interfaces. The program includes the development of software and hardware for telehealth and mobile health studies. The most complete and extensive definition of connected health was given by Caulfield and Donnelly (3). They stated that “Connected Health encompasses terms such as wireless, digital, electronic, mobile, and tele-health and refers to a conceptual model for health management where devices, services or interventions are designed around the patient’s needs, and health related data is shared, in such a way that the patient can receive care in the most proactive and efficient manner possible. All stakeholders in the process are ‘connected’ by means of timely sharing and presentation of accurate and pertinent information regarding patient status through smarter use of data, devices, communication platforms and people.” This definition will be adopted for the needs of the connected health specialty section.

This work has been partly supported by the project that has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 739578 (RISE – Call: H2020-WIDESPREAD-01-2016-2017-TeamingPhase2) and the Government of the Republic of Cyprus through the Directorate General for European Programmes, Coordination and Development.
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