Thursday, February 11, 2010

mHealth brings hope to the Developing World

Adopting mHealth (mobile health) technologies has the potential to transform health care in poor and low-income countries, according to the February 2010 issue of Health Affairs, a leading journal of health policy thought and research.

The different articles indicate that by tapping modern information and communications technology it is possible to transform health and health care services in developing countries.

The reports constitute a broad review of the multiple e-health applications already in use in Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America. One of the articles - written by James G. Kahn, Joshua S. Yang, and James S. Kahn from the University of California, San Francisco - indicates that mobile technologies are widely available and can play an important role in health care at the regional, community, and individual levels.

The authors note that developing countries face steady growth in the prevalence of chronic diseases, along with a continued burden from communicable diseases. They write that innovative applications of mobile technology can simplify communication among researchers, clinicians and patients and offer care strategies for dealing with chronic diseases.

The article claims that the integrated nature of mHealth systems “offers improved communication, access to diagnostic tools and ability to store and access personal medical data in central repositories.” It can also, strengthen communication between individuals in a health care system, which can improve patient care coordination, allow exchanges of best practices and raise the quality patient care standards.

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