By Rob Starr, Content Manager, Big4.com
PwC’s latest publication is entitled ‘Emerging mHealth: Paths for growth.’ In this report, the Economic Intelligence Unit, commissioned by PwC, examines the current state and potential of mHealth in developed and emerging markets, the ongoing barriers to its adoption and implications for companies in the field. mHealth is defined as the provision of healthcare or health-related information through the use of mobile devices (typically mobile phones, but also other specialised medical mobile devices, such as wireless monitors). Mobile applications and services can include remote patient monitors, video conferencing, online consultations, personal healthcare devices, wireless access to patient records and prescriptions.
Doctors and healthcare payers in the developed and emerging markets feel that that the adoption of mobile technology in healthcare or mHealth is inevitable. Mobile healthcare solutions are being deployed more rapidly in emerging markets than in developed economies, with patients expecting mHealth as a way to improve to improve the access, quality, service and cost of healthcare.
Mobile technology has added a new dimension to the delivery of healthcare by connecting patient and healthcare providers real-time. The relevance of this connectivity is critical in developing countries where there is a shortage of healthcare resources compounded by insufficient medical services, poor road and transport infrastructure. Technology, and particularly mHealth, has the ability to enable access to quality care without the costs and difficulties associated with traditional delivery methods which requires significant travel on the patient’s behalf.