Mobile technologies have the potential to revolutionize how populations interact with national health services.
1. Mobile technologies are becoming an important resource for health services delivery and public health due to their ease of use, broad reach and wide acceptance. According to a report prepared by ITU in 2015, there are more than 7 billion mobile telephone subscriptions across the world, over 70% of which are in low- or middle- income countries. In many places, people are more likely to have access to a mobile telephone than to clean water, a bank account or electricity.
2. Mobile technologies have the potential to revolutionize how populations interact with national health services. Mobile wireless technologies for public health, referred to as “mHealth”, have been shown to increase access to health information, services and skills, as well as promote positive changes in health behaviours to prevent the onset of acute and chronic diseases. In order to realize these gains, Member States are seeking to identify standardized approaches for applying mHealth in health systems and services.
3. An increasing proportion of the population is accessing health information and services through mobile telephones, and a vast array of mobile-based solutions – from SMS to complex “smartphone” applications – have been developed to improve health access, knowledge and behaviours across a range of contexts and target groups.