Eight Out Of 10 Countries Using mHealth Services, WHO Report Says

Eighty-three percent of countries are using mobile phone technology for health services, according to a WHO study (.pdf) released on Tuesday at the Mobile Health Summit in Cape Town, South Africa, Agence France-Presse reports (6/7).

“The four-day Cape Town summit brings together principally mobile operators, handset manufacturers, providers of tele-medicine equipment, health insurance companies, the pharmaceutical industry and government representatives,” according to the Guardian (Smith, 6/8).

The WHO study found that out of 114 countries, only 19 had no mobile health initiative, AFP writes. “Globally, the most common schemes for cell phones were call centres or help-lines, emergency toll-free numbers, and mobile telemedicine – such as doctors consulting one another. Among the biggest barriers worldwide were cost, a lack of knowledge and health policies that did not recognise mHealth, the study found,” according to the news agency (6/7).