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).
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).
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).