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Mobile technology for global health

10 March 2009

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The mHealth for Development report, published by Vodafone and United Nations Foundation, surveys the benefits of mobile technology to improve health care across the world.

mHealth for Development: The Opportunity of Mobile Technology for Healthcare in the Developing World

Publisher: United Nations Foundation and Vodafone Foundation, 2009

The transformational power of mobile networks and devices is helping drive the adoption of scalable and sustainable health initiatives, particularly in the developing world.

The long-term goal and expectation underlying all these efforts is that mHealth programs will have a significant and lasting positive impact on health outcomes such as reduced infant mortality, longer life spans, and decreased contraction of disease.

mhealth4d report.jpg
Image credits: UN Foundation / Cover page of the report

This publication through its research and selection of case studies evidences the potential of mHealth—the use of mobile communications (mobile phones and PDAs) for health services and information.

This field has the potential to transform the approach to a variety of healthcare challenges in the developing world by accelerating the collection and storage of patient data, training rural professionals with health updates and guidance, and personalising to new levels the process of patients receiving and engaging in available medical treatment.

As the case studies in the report demonstrate, governments, companies, and non-profit groups are already developing mHealth applications to improve healthcare and consequently save lives. These new mobile applications, bypassing the fixed-line solutions, are creating new pathways for sharing health-related information, even in the most remote and resource-poor environments.

This report is designed to move the field one step further in the achievement of this ambitious goal by outlining the current state of the field, highlighting mHealth initiatives taking root around the globe, and outlining the building blocks required for successful and sustainable mHealth initiatives.

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