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Telenor : mHealth has the potential to change the face of healthcare: A new Telenor and BCG study finds out how

04/26/2012 | 05:37am US/Eastern

The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), in cooperation with Telenor Group, has now released the complete report on the "Socio-Economic Impact of Mobile Health". The report explores the potential impact of mHealth solutions, such as how Norway can save € 1.5 billion each year with remote monitoring solutions for the elderly and how Thailand can cure 40,000 cases of tuberculosis through SMS treatment compliance.

The report dives into the healthcare situations in Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Hungary, Serbia, Montenegro, Thailand, Malaysia, Russia, Bangladesh, Pakistan and India. It presents potential solutions for each of these markets that are possible through mobile communications.

"We commissioned this report because we wanted to better understand how our solutions can help improve the healthcare situations in the countries where we operate," said Jon Fredrik Baksaas, CEO, Telenor Group. "For instance, how can we increase efficiency in modern healthcare through remote monitoring solutions that enable the elderly people to live longer in their own homes?"

mHealth in Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Hungary, Serbia and Montenegro

The most notable healthcare challenges faced by these nations include their aging population and the rising costs of healthcare services. Solutions such as home monitoring aided by mobile technology can keep the elderly in their homes longer, easing the burden on care facilities. However, barriers to widespread mHealth solutions include privacy issues, interoperability challenges when sharing information electronically, and the lack of industry incentive when remuneration is often dependent on nights actually spent in the hospital, nursing facility or face-to-face consultations.

mHealth in Malaysia, Russia and Thailand

As countries in transition, they face shared difficulty in ensuring proper maternal health and infant care, combating communicable diseases, and confronting new challenges such as obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Remote diagnostics and remote patient monitoring can be critical to bringing healthcare to the rural populations in these countries. However, the lack of common standards can prevent the spread of mHealth, along with limited commitment from regulatory bodies to ensure that mHealth happens.

mHealth in Bangladesh, Pakistan and India

These nations are struggling to deliver affordable healthcare to their citizens. Their resources are limited and much of their population is rural. mHealth deployment is currently limited in these countries, partly due to lack of awareness and action from the regulatory bodies. From maternal and infant health challenges to reducing disease, these countries need cost-efficient and widespread solutions that will help their citizens live longer and healthier. mHealth can fill these gaps, but access to mobile services needs to improve, along with government commitment and the creation of incentives to encourage the spread of mHealth.

Reinvigorating healthcare

"mHealth can be one of the keys to redefining and reinvigorating our struggling healthcare systems, as well as enhancing the healthy lifestyles and longevity of our citizens," said Baksaas. "The telecommunications industry is well-positioned to play a central role in the evolution of mobile health solutions worldwide."

Contact information:

Tor Odland, Vice President, Group Communications, Telenor Group
Mobile: +47 9909 0872,
E-mail: tor.odland@telenor.com

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