Health Policy

Global foundations form Mobile Health Alliance

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Three of the world’s leading foundations involved in global health, technology and humanitarian assistance, the Rockefeller Foundation, the United Nations Foundation and The Vodafone Foundation, announced recently at GSMA’s Mobile World Congress an agreement to form the Mobile Health (mHealth) Alliance, a partnership that will work to maximize the benefits of mobile technology on health, especially in the developing world. Terry Kramer, Vodafone Foundation Trustee said: “I believe it is critical for us to harness the benefits that mobile technology can bring to global healthcare, in both sociological and economic terms.” He continued: “When you consider that there are 2.2 billion mobile phones in the developing world, 305 million computers but only 11 million hospital beds you can instantly see how mobiles can create effective solutions to address healthcare challenges. Mobile technology is providing new hope in the provision and promotion of quality healthcare in a number of ways, such as accelerating the collection and storage of patient data, training rural professionals and personalizing the way patients receive medical treatment.” The formation of the Alliance resulted from a July 2008 Rockefeller Foundation-hosted conference on the future of mHealth, in which participants identified the need to increase collaboration in cross-sectoral and pan-regional partnerships to improve healthcare delivery in the developing world. Participants included representatives of Cisco, Google, Microsoft, Nokia, and Qualcomm, as well as the Earth Institute, MIT and the UN World Health Organization. “Mobile technology can enable significant progress toward reaching the UN Millennium Development Goals relating to health. This mHealth Alliance will provide a platform to bring the technology and health sectors together to maximize the impact mobile technology can have in improving health across the developing world,” said Daniel Carucci, Vice President for Global Health at the United Nations Foundation, which operates a

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