WHO Reports that mHealth is on the Global Agenda

A new World Health Organization (WHO) report into mHealth applications has found that governments across the word support mHealth development. 

The study, titled mHealth: New Horizons for Health through Mobile Technologies, found that 83 per cent of governments surveyed gave at least one application of mobile technology that would help healthcare in their country.  

However, WHO says that the majority of mHealth activities are limited in size and scope. The report was supported by the mHealth Alliance, the United Nations Foundation, and the Vodafone Foundation. It was launched at the GSMA and mHealth Alliance Mobile Health Summit, which is taking place in Cape Town this week. 

Kathy Calvin, CEO of the UN Foundation, a founding member and host of the mHealth Alliance, says: “Wireless technologies have enormous potential to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of health programs as they grow beyond the pilot programs common in most of the world. This report provides the data that can help accelerate the strategic use and evaluation of mobile technologies as mHealth is taken to scale to help meet health needs.”

The study is the most comprehensive global study of mHealth activity to date, says WHO. It analyses data from 112 countries by 14 mHealth activity types, as well as WHO region and World Bank income group. 

The report found that the majority of mHealth initiatives are currently at the pilot stage. The four most frequently reported mHealth initiatives were health call centres (59 per cent); emergency toll-free telephone services (55 per cent); managing emergencies and disasters (54 per cent); and mobile telemedicine (49 per cent).  

To download the complete report, visit the WHO website