m-Health will be used to partner governments, agencies, and the private sector
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 11/09/2012 -- United Nation agencies coupled to launch an initiative dubbed ‘m-Health’ to use mobile technology in the fight against non-communicable disease.
The ability to utilize text messaging and apps to help handle non-communicable illness (like diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and chronic respiratory diseases) is the goal of the initiative, which is being handled by two agencies.
“Technological innovations are changing the landscape of disease prevention and control. The widespread availability of mobile technology, including in many of the least developed countries, is an exceptional opportunity to expand the use of e-health,” said the Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Hamadoun I. Touré.
The initiative is aimed to provide evidence-based guidance, as well as operational guidance, to court partners worldwide. The main target in partnership is government, in order to implement m-Health to address prevention and treatment of NCDs.
NCDs are leading causes of death and disease in developing, as well as emerging, economies. According to a UN news release, NCDs dominate health care needs and costs in most developed nations, as well as low and middle-income countries.
Over 36 million deaths are attributed to NCDs, which accounts for more than half of the deaths worldwide each year. Somewhere around 15 million die between the ages of 30 and 70. The use of mobile telephone technology within m-Health can save lives, reducing illness and disability through information sharing.
“By joining forces, ITU and WHO will fight against debilitating non-communicable diseases that can be controlled through the intervention of m-Health solutions and services that are at once cost effective, scalable and sustainable,” said Mr. Touré. “In doing so, we will help end a scourge that hinders economic growth and development around the world.”
The initiative is billed as a supplement to existing projects, and will be geared toward building partnerships between governments, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector.
“WHO is already using mobile devices to carry out surveillance of non-communicable diseases and their risk factors,” said WHO’s Assistant Director-General for Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health, Oleg Chestnov.
“For example, the Global Adult Tobacco Surveillance system has used mobile phones to capture data on tobacco use in 17 countries – covering over half of the world’s population. This experience of running population-scale mobile projects will be vital to the initiative,” he stated.
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