In the last decade, the seminal term and concept of “m-health” were first defined and introduced in this transactions as “mobile computing, medical sensor, and communications technologies for healthcare.” Since that special section, the m-health concept has become one of the key technological domains that reflected the key advances in remote healthcare and e-health systems. The m-health is currently bringing together major academic research and industry disciplines worldwide to achieve innovative solutions in the areas of healthcare delivery and technology sectors. From the wireless communications perspective, the current decade is expected to bring the introduction of new wireless standards and network systems with true mobile broadband and fast internet access healthcare services. These will be developed around what is currently called the fourth-generation (4G) mobile communication systems. In this editorial paper, we will introduce the new and novel concept of 4G health that represents the long-term evolution of m-health since the introduction of the concept in 2004. The special section also presents a snapshot of the recent advances in these areas and addresses some of the challenges and future implementation issues from the evolved m-health perspective. It will also present some of the concepts that can go beyond the traditional “m-health ecosystem” of the existing systems. The contributions presented in this special section represent some of these developments and illustrate the multidisciplinary nature of this important and emerging healthcare delivery concept.
Istepanian RS, Zhang Y-T. Guest editorial. Introduction to the special section: 4G Health--the long-term evolution of m-Health. IEEE Trans Inf Technol Biomed. 2012 Jan;16(1):1–5.