Multimedia messaging (MMS)


MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) allows mobile phone users to exchange multimedia messages on their phones over mobile phone networks. These messages consist of varied information such as pictures, animations, video clips, maps, data packets and business cards. MMS is generally considered a service for the more up to date third generation (3G) mobile phone systems.


  • Self-monitoring, patients could send images or videos to clinicians for initial diagnosis saving time and travel in the first instance
  • Education and information - can be augmented by video clips or animations to improve comprehension
  • Better communication of image based information between staff, better use of individuals’ time as scans and x-rays can be transferred to the required expert wherever they are. For example, the results of an MMS trial in Milton Keynes showed that: “The time to decision was shortened in all cases resulting in better patient care.”
  • For use in assisting descriptive ability of injuries such as this example

Benefits and advantages

  • Faster service within hospital settings as can reach experts wherever they are
  • Potential to provide multimedia information direct to an individual’s mobile phone
  • Could save patients time and travel in the first instance
Risks and disadvantages
  • Low resolution images at present- accuracy is compromised depending on the technology standards used
  • Small screens on many phones prevent quality viewing of multimedia
  • Diagnosis via image alone may lower accuracy and reduce safety- further research is required around this
  • Privacy and patient rights around image transfer and storage must be observed


Armchair Involvement Guide 2009 

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