The integration of mobile technology into healthcare has evolved into an important research area called mHealth. Current mobile imaging applications enhance communication between different healthcare providers, enhance direct interaction between providers and patients, and allow medical images to be referenced from almost any location. This book presents state-of-the-art research in electronic imaging technologies and their applications to mobile healthcare. Twelve chapters by leaders in their fields are divided into four parts: Part I on image processing and enhanced visualization; Part II on security issues in mobile healthcare applications; Part III on human external pulsometers and activity recognition; and Part IV on mobile healthcare applications, including skin cancer monitoring with an iPhone using image retrieval techniques, a mobile healthcare interface, and an automatic multiview food classification method for food intake assessment on a smart phone. The editors hope that this book will inspire further research in mHealth.
Information technology is changing healthcare systems in revolutionary ways; there can be no health care reform without an information revolution. One information technology that is transforming healthcare systems is mobile technology. As it develops and matures, mobile technology is having a significant impact on healthcare, and emerging mobile technologies are attracting significant attention as well as investment of time and effort among researchers and industrial developers. The combination of mobile technology with healthcare has produced an important research area called mHealth. In 2011, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, referred to mHealth as “the biggest technology breakthrough of our time” and maintained that its use would “address our greatest national challenge.” Based on related research, mobile health is projected to be a 26 billion dollar industry by 2017.
Mobile technology has wide-ranging applications in human healthcare, such as monitoring elderly patients, security access control for electronic health records, and remote radiology. The primary drivers behind these applications are varied, as evidenced by the following facts:
• Current mobile computing devices already offer many advanced
features, such as high-quality cameras, web searching, sound recording,
and global positioning systems (GPS).
• The capabilities of mobile computing devices (mobile tablet devices and
smartphones) are growing.
• The implementation of mobile imaging platform/systems is growing.
Currently, thousands of apps are available, including apps for disease
diagnosis, diet and disease tracking, medication and exercise planning,
and blood pressure monitoring.
• A growing number of physicians are recognizing the advantages of
using mobile tools.
• The mobile technologies in current use are already providing new
opportunities by boosting communication between different healthcare providers and between healthcare providers and patients, and by allowing access to medical images from virtually any location.
In fact, a 2012 study by Manhattan Research discovered that approximately 62% of U.S. doctors utilize some type of tablet device in their practice, nearly doubling the adoption rate since 2011.
According to industry evaluations, 500 million smartphone users worldwide will be using a healthcare application by 2018, and 50% of the more than 3.4 billion smartphone and tablet users will have downloaded mobile health applications. Moreover, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) “recognizes the extensive variety of actual and potential functions of mobile apps, the rapid pace of innovation in mobile apps, and the potential benefits and risks to public health represented by these apps.” Finally, mobile computing devices have become commonplace in healthcare settings, leading to rapid growth in the development of biomedical software applications for these platforms.
The aim of this book is to publish state-of-the-art research in electronic imaging technologies as applied to mobile healthcare, and to promote research in mHealth. The twelve chapters in this book are organized into four parts:
Part I deals with image processing and enhanced visualization. Chapter 1 introduces image processing techniques for mobile healthcare systems. Chapter 2 presents image enhancement technology for low-vision patients who use mobile devices to see images. Chapter 3 describes the application of fast Fourier transform-based methods for color medical imaging in mobile devices. Chapter 4 presents new quaternion-based image enhancement tools that can be used as a preprocessing step in conventional cell phone imaging systems by improving the interpretability of information in images for phone viewers. Chapter 5 develops an adapted retinex algorithm for medical image enhancement using mobile phones.
Part II deals with security issues in mobile healthcare applications. Chapter 6 examines security issues for mobile devices using cloud services and presents a homomorphic encryption method that enables direct operation over the encoded data and hence facilitates complete privacy protection. Chapter 7 proposes a novel and fast encryption of images and their decryption without loss of information for medical image viewing on a cell phone.
Part III covers human external pulsometers and activity recognition using mobile devices. Chapter 8 addresses human activity recognition and processing in mobile environments. Chapter 9 develops mobile applications to measure a person’s heart rate using a mobile phone camera.
Part IV includes three chapters on mobile healthcare applications. Chapter 10 deals with skin cancer monitoring with an iPhone using image retrieval techniques. Chapter 11 presents a user interface for mobile healthcare. Finally, Chapter 12 presents an automatic multiview food classification method for a food intake assessment system on a smartphone.
We hope that this book will inspire further research in mHealth.
Sos S. Agaian