The Case for mHealth in Developing Countries

Posted by MohiniBhavsar on Jul 09, 2010
The Case for mHealth in Developing Countries data sheet 2577 Views
Patricia N. Mechael
Publication Date: 
Jan 2009
Publication Type: 
Journal article

The aim of this paper is to encourage reflection and discussion around the
potential of mHealth in developing countries and to consider how early experiences
can inform the way forward. Toward this aim, I synthesize many reviews and
presentations from the eight years I have been studying the evolution of mobile
phones and health in developing countries. I include observations and discussions
that are now shaping the creation of mHealth as a field, to highlight the ingredients
we need to move from a series of pilot projects and isolated business opportunities
to a full-scale maximization of health-related benefits.

I begin by reviewing the strategic priorities within global health, where mobile
telephony can have the greatest impact, along with organic health-related uses of
mobile phones, and examples of formal mHealth interventions. I then demonstrate
the potential for mobile phones to become an extension and an integral
component of eHealth, describing how information and communication technology
(ICT) can be used in health care, as well as mHealth, as a subset of mServices:
using mobile devices to deliver services such as banking and health. I also show
how trends and interests are converging among key stakeholders within the
mHealth ecosystem, thus forming a foundation on which we can scale up and sustain
more and better mHealth activities. Finally, I present some tactical guidance
for a way forward that will further the objectives of both public health and business,
particularly in outreach efforts to emerging markets, the bottom of the pyramid,
and the next billion mobile phone subscribers.

Counting Mobile Phones, SIM Cards and Customers

Posted by MohiniBhavsar on Jun 29, 2010
Counting Mobile Phones, SIM Cards and Customers data sheet 1856 Views
Sutherland, Ewan
Publication Date: 
Apr 2008
Publication Type: 
Report/White paper

The GMSA reports that the mobile subscriptions worldwide is at 3 billion (2008) with 270 million subscriptions in Africa at the end of 2007. This policy paper considers the challenges faced by public policy makers in understanding the true number of individuals with mobile access.  There are many reasons why customers might have more than one phone, phone number or SIM card, which results in the double-counting of customers. As a result, it is difficult to assume that the number telephone numbers or SIM cards translates into individual customers. The author discusses the issue of ambiguity in the estimates of mobile teledensity as an indicator for the MDGs and the subsequent challenge for public policy makers in interpreting the large numbers and how they reflect the reality of their countries, cities, towns and villages. Case studies in Bulgaria and South Africa are presented.