17pc of smartphone users deploy health apps
Doha, June 8, 2011
About 17 per cent of smartphone customers worldwide are deploying health-related applications, said the organisers of an upcoming mobile health summit in Cape Town.
It is estimated that 500 million people will have health-related applications on their smartphones by 2015, said experts from Qatar’s Qtel Group who are meeting in South Africa this week at the first GSMA-mHA Mobile Health Summit.
The Qtel Group will be presenting some of the early findings from its first-stage mHealth initiatives, as well as discussing the wider need to develop the ecosystem of healthcare providers and new applications.
mHealth solutions use mobile phone technology to deliver lifestyle guidance and help patients better manage their illnesses.
The Qtel Group is working towards deploying these cutting-edge solutions, with a particular focus upon prioritising illnesses that have an endemic impact within its key markets.
Earlier in the year, the Qtel Group announced a partnership with The Mobile Health Company of Saudi Arabia to provide expert guidance and healthcare tips via mobile phones. The first phase of this service is planned to be launched in Iraq and Kuwait this summer, a statement said.
Customers in Iraq, which has a population of more than 30 million people and significant challenges in its healthcare infrastructure, are to be supported by an SMS/MMS information and education service, providing healthcare tips and recommendations for a number of chronic and serious conditions.
In Kuwait, which has a population of 2.8 million people, the service will pay particular attention to chronic conditions like diabetes, which afflicts approximately 26 per cent of the population.
Wataniya Maldives recently launched its mHealth initiative. The special service enables Wataniya customers to make appointments to see doctors in Sri Lanka, where the majority of healthcare provision is delivered for residents of the Maldives.
With the growing track record of success in the mHealth field, the Qtel Group is set to meet with a number of other international innovators at the summit with a view to expanding the range of options for customers across its regional markets.
The GSMA-mHA Mobile Health Summit, running at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, will conclude tomorrow (June 9). – TradeArabia News Service