Eight out of 10 countries using mobile health: WHO
Wednesday 08 June 2011
Eight in 10 countries are using mobile phone technology to improve health services, from free emergency calls to appointment reminders, the World Health Organisation said on Tuesday.
The global health body found that only 19 of 114 countries surveyed had no mobile health initiative, known as mHealth.
"Eighty three percent are actually saying, yes we are involved with a minimum of one mHealth project," said Misha Kay, who studies cell phone technology for the WHO.
But most of those countries have several projects running, he added.
"So what we're seeing is a fairly healthy groundswell of activity, also considering that we believe that a lot of the reports were understated," he said.
With more than five billion cell phone subscribers in the world, and 85 percent of the planet covered by a commercial wireless signal, mHealth is becoming a popular way to strengthen health services.
Speaking at a conference on mobile health in Cape Town, Kay said southeast Asia, the Americas and Europe had the most initiatives but around 75 percent of surveyed African countries were also using the technology.
Globally, the most common schemes for cell phones were call centres or help-lines, emergency toll-free numbers, and mobile telemedicine - such as doctors consulting one another.
Among the biggest barriers worldwide were cost, a lack of knowledge and health policies that did not recognise mHealth, the study found.
In Africa, the biggest impediments were operating costs and infrastructure, while in Europe concerns centred on the absence of legal guidelines on privacy and confidentiality.
The survey was based on data from a 2009 study by the WHO.
peopleContenders for Time magazine's Person of the Year are a mixture of the good, the bad and the holy
tvSteven Moffat reveals the actor was dying to take on the role of the Time Lord and says he is excited to see what he will do with the character
sportBayern Munich 2 Manchester City 3: City come from two down to beat reigning European Champions
newsAs the world remembers Mandela the hero, the prison where he spent 27 years seems all the more brutal
arts + ents... and a chance to paint Booker Prize winning author Hilary Mantel
danceUnder Tamara Rojo's inspired direction, it seems possible that it could challenge the dominance of the Royal Ballet. We meet some established names and rising stars
travelDiscover Uruguay's jet-set beach resort, an Atlantic enclave with plenty of art and culture to explore on the side
Life & Style blogs
- 1 Mountain goats' miraculous escape from avalanche captured in dramatic video footage
- 2 Gurdwaras-turned-food banks: Sikh temples are catering for rise in Britain’s hungry
- 3 Kenyan politician Mike Sonko left red-faced after photoshopping himself next to Nelson Mandela
- 4 Government delays EU immigration report because it is too positive
- 5 'I'm experiencing austerity as well', says Princess Michael of Kent
- < Previous
- Next >
£22000 - £25000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: Junior/Grad C# .NET Wi...
Negotiable: Harrington Starr: C#.NET Developer (VB6,.NET, SQL, Winforms) Wokin...
£35999 - £44001 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: A Top Tier practi...
£41000 - £46000 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Academically Exce...