OBJECTIVES: Telehealth has an increasing role in future healthcare. This paper seeks to define and understand recent advances in provision of tele-healthcare through use of personal handheld computing devices, and suggests how such personalized solutions offer further opportunities for progress.
METHODS: We considered the current status of personal handheld computing devices for personalizing healthcare, through review of examples in the literature and web sources.
RESULTS: We have identified the following four generic roles for personal handheld computing devices in personalized healthcare: educational, social networking and games, monitoring with notifications/ reminders, and online/offline tele-consultations. We discuss examples of these in two settings: healthcare facilities and patient home.
CONCLUSION: Advances in latest handheld computing devices have made tele-healthcare more personalized and increasingly possible even in the absence of the care provider.