Report: Mobile Health Tools Could Cut Costs, Improve Care Globally

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Mobile health projects have significant potential to improve health care globally, according to a report by the Boston Consulting Group and Telenor Group, a Norway-based mobile communications provider, eWeek reports.

For the report -- titled, "Socio-Economic Impact of mHealth" -- researchers examined how mobile health projects could affect health care in 12 countries (Horowitz, eWeek, 3/2). The report notes that about 500 mobile health projects are under way around the world (Jackson, FierceMobileHealthcare, 3/2).

Report Details

According to the report, mobile smartphone applications could improve health care by facilitating:

  • Disease prevention;
  • Health surveillance;
  • Patient monitoring and compliance;
  • Remote access to health data; and
  • Wellness initiatives (eWeek, 3/2).

The report predicted that mobile health projects could:

  • Help physicians reach about twice as many rural patients;
  • Improve tuberculosis treatment compliance by between 30% and 70%;
  • Reduce elder care costs by about 25%;
  • Reduce maternal and perinatal mortality rates by about 30%; and
  • Reduce medical data collection-related costs by about 24% (Telenor Group release, 2/28).

Remaining Challenges

Jon Baksaas -- president and CEO of Telenor Group -- said that scalability is the main obstacle preventing mobile health projects from achieving cost savings (FierceMobileHealthcare, 3/2).

To address scalability challenges, Baksaas said, "We need to commit to common standards, increase access to mobile services and document the impact of mobile health" (Telenor Group release, 2/28).


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