In a new study commissioned recently by Telenor Group and the Boston Consulting Group called “Socio-Economic Impact of mHealth,” it was revealed that there’s now more than 500 mobile healthcare projects taking place around the world.
The survey included studying the impact that mHealth initiatives can have across 12 different countries. The countries were grouped into three clusters, each with a different set of primary healthcare challenges. Where countries in one cluster primarily face challenges with non-communicable diseases and quickly growing system costs, countries in another cluster struggle with maternal/child health, communicable diseases and limited access to health care. What unites them all is that mobile health technology can “improve the quality, reach and effectiveness of services while reducing costs and the overall system burden,” the authors noted.
Here’s some other key findings of the survey/report:
- The necessary infrastructure is already in everyone’s hands: 7.4 billion mobile subscriptions projected by 2015.
- The technology richness and network capacity is sufficient, both on simple feature phones and on smart devices.
- Currently, more than 500 mobile health projects are taking place around the world.
- Costs in elderly care can be reduced by 25% with mobile healthcare.
- Maternal and perinatal mortality can be reduced by 30%.
- Twice as many rural patients can be reached per doctor.
- Tuberculosis treatment compliance can be improved by 30-70%.
- 30% of smartphone users are likely to use “wellness apps” by 2015.
- Costs related to data collection can be reduced by 24%.
- Smartphone is the most popular technology among doctors since the stethoscope.
“Mobile health is already a reality, with hundreds of projects launched worldwide. However, many projects are struggling with achieving scale. Both regulatory actions and ecosystem collaboration is required to create the necessary scale. We need to commit to common standards, increase access to mobile services and document the impact of mobile health. Finally, governments can use their procurement processes to drive further innovation in mobile health services,” says Jon Fredrik Baksaas, President and CEO, Telenor Group.