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Published on: November 26, 2010
Type of content: WHITE PAPER
Length: 6 pages
If the worldwide health system is not in crisis, it is under intense pressure and cost cutting trends in the light of the global downturn are only set to continue. For most hospitals and medical establishments budget allocations for IT were expected to be smaller in 2009 than in 2008. Meanwhile the disease burden is increasing year on year on the back of aging populations and unhealthy lifestyles. In 57 countries, most of them in Africa and Asia, there is a “severe health workforce crisis” says WHO, which estimates that at least a further 2.36 million health service providers and 1.89 million management support workers are needed. This amounts to a total deficit, according to the WHO, of 4.25 million health workers. Given the above, mHealth in its various guises has great potential to increase the productivity of the worldwide health sector and bring about significant cost savings if operators and medical establishments can get it right. The applications below are plotted in the table below to indicate their ease of implementation against their potential to save cost to government or healthcare organisation. Such cost savings may be direct (as in the case of remote monitoring using mobile technologies saving hospital beds, or SMS based reminders reducing appointment “no shows”) or long term and indirect, as in the case of education programs via SMS reducing behaviour that may lead to the spread of disease.
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