Health systems readiness for adopting mhealth interventions for addressing non-communicable diseases in low- and middle-income countries: a current debate

Anam Feroz, Muhammad Masood Kadir, Sarah Saleem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In low-and-middle-income countries, epidemiologic transition is taking place very rapidly from communicable diseases to non-communicable diseases. NCDs mortality rates are increasing faster and nearly 80% of NCDs deaths occur in LMICs. Existing weak health systems of LMICs are undergoing a devastating human and economic toll as a result of increasing treatment costs and losses to productivity from NCDs. At the same time, the increasing penetration of mobile phone technology and the spread of cellular network and infrastructure have led to the introduction of the mHealth field. While mHealth field offers a great promise to prevent and control non-communicable diseases in low-and-middle-income countries: there is a great debate going on to explore health systems readiness for adopting mHealth technology to address NCDs in LMICs. There are a number of factors which determine health systems readiness and response for adoption of mHealth technology including preparedness of healthcare institutions, availability of the resources, willingness of healthcare providers and communities. We have discussed these factors to understand health systems preparedness to adopt mHealth field for prevention and control of NCDs. To adequately integrate mobile-phone-based health interventions into existing health systems, these factors should be dealt up-front through constant effort to improve health systems response for NCDs. Currently, there is insufficient empirical and policy evidence on this research area and therefore future research and policy dialogue should be directed to assess the health systems willingness for mHealth adoption principally to address NCDs in the context of LMICs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1496887
JournalGlobal Health Action
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018

Keywords

  • Health system preparedness
  • current debate
  • low and middle-income countries
  • mobile phone-based health interventions
  • non-communicable diseases

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