Can the Ubiquitous Power of Mobile Phones be Used to Improve Health Outcomes in Developing Countries?

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dc.contributor.author Kaplan, Warren A en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2012-01-09T14:59:54Z
dc.date.available 2012-01-09T14:59:54Z
dc.date.copyright 2006 en_US
dc.date.issued 2006-05-23 en_US
dc.identifier.citation Kaplan, Warren A. "Can the Ubiquitous Power of Mobile Phones be Used to Improve Health Outcomes in Developing Countries?" Globalization and Health 2:9. (2006) en_US
dc.identifier.issn 1744-8603 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2144/2801
dc.description.abstract BACKGROUND. The ongoing policy debate about the value of communications technology in promoting development objectives is diverse. Some view computer/web/phone communications technology as insufficient to solve development problems while others view communications technology as assisting all sections of the population. This paper looks at evidence to support or refute the idea that fixed and mobile telephones is, or could be, an effective healthcare intervention in developing countries. METHODS. A Web-based and library database search was undertaken including the following databases: MEDLINE, CINAHL, (nursing & allied health), Evidence Based Medicine (EBM), POPLINE, BIOSIS, and Web of Science, AIDSearch (MEDLINE AIDS/HIV Subset, AIDSTRIALS & AIDSDRUGS) databases. RESULTS. Evidence can be found to both support and refute the proposition that fixed and mobile telephones is, or could be, an effective healthcare intervention in developing countries. It is difficult to generalize because of the different outcome measurements and the small number of controlled studies. There is almost no literature on using mobile telephones as a healthcare intervention for HIV, TB, malaria, and chronic conditions in developing countries. Clinical outcomes are rarely measured. Convincing evidence regarding the overall cost-effectiveness of mobile phone "telemedicine" is still limited and good-quality studies are rare. Evidence of the cost effectiveness of such interventions to improve adherence to medicines is also quite weak. CONCLUSION. The developed world model of personal ownership of a phone may not be appropriate to the developing world in which shared mobile telephone use is important. Sharing may be a serious drawback to use of mobile telephones as a healthcare intervention in terms of stigma and privacy, but its magnitude is unknown. One advantage, however, of telephones with respect to adherence to medicine in chronic care models is its ability to create a multi-way interaction between patient and provider(s) and thus facilitate the dynamic nature of this relationship. Regulatory reforms required for proper operation of basic and value-added telecommunications services are a priority if mobile telecommunications are to be used for healthcare initiatives. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher Globalization and Health en_US
dc.rights Copyright 2006 Kaplan; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. en_US
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0 en_US
dc.title Can the Ubiquitous Power of Mobile Phones be Used to Improve Health Outcomes in Developing Countries? en_US
dc.type article en_US
dc.identifier.doi 10.1186/1744-8603-2-9 en_US
dc.identifier.pubmedid 16719925 en_US
dc.identifier.pmcid 1524730 en_US

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