Can you heal me now? Potential (and pitfalls) of mHealth

mHealth_cell_GraphicMobile phone subscriptions have overtaken fixed lines as the preferred method of communication across Latin America and the Caribbean, with penetration rates of almost 90 percent. Some forecasts indicate that subscriptions in the region could grow by 8.2 percent in 2010. According to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), mobile subscriptions globally will surpass the 5 billion mark by the end of the year—an estimated two-thirds of which are expected to be in low- and middle-income countries. That puts the mobile industry in a position to play a pivotal role in tackling health care for the underserved. Yet health policy leaders have only just begun to address the opportunities of the wireless information revolution sweeping their countries.

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