A new study by Telenor and the Boston Consulting Group claims to show the benefits of mobile technology to the health sector.

In a statement, the two companies said that m-health could improve the quality, reach and effectiveness of services while reducing costs and the overall system burden.

The study looked at 12 countries but estimated that over 500 m-health projects were taking place globally.

Specifically, maternal and perinatal mortality can be reduced by 30 percent, tuberculosis treatment compliance can be improved by up to 70 percent and twice as many rural patients can be reached per doctor, the study predicted.

Costs in elderly care can be reduced by 25 percent, while those related to data collection can be reduced by 24 percent, the study added.

Key to the potential success is that the technology is now available and can be rolled out across both smart and feature phones, the number of which will grow to 7.4 billion by 2015.

"The technological development and successful pilots around the world demonstrate that the time for mHealth has come,” confirmed Knut Haanæs, BCG’s sustainability practice global leader.

Indeed, the study claimed that smartphones were the most popular technology among doctors since the stethoscope.

However, Telenor Group president and CEO Jon Fredrik Baksaas warned that regulatory action and ecosystem collaboration were needed to help the many projects that are struggling to achieve scale.

“We need to commit to common standards, increase access to mobile services and document the impact of mobile health,” he said.

 

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