mHealth solution for healthcare problems

Healthcare is one of the prioritize sector in Pakistan that contribute to the well-being of the nation and, therefore, remains committed to providing quality healthcare services to all its citizens. According to Pakistan Vision 2025, government plans to increase spending in the healthcare sector up to 3% of the GDP. Since Pakistan is a developing country and have limited resources to fulfill its healthcare needs, the modern and latest innovations in the shape of Electronic Health (eHealth) or Mobile Health (mHealth) are the best suitable solutions for improved healthcare. Though, innovations in ubiquitous healthcare in terms of mHealth is not projected to substitute healthcare professionals who remain central to providing healthcare, but, reasonably is considered to be a supportive tool for the management and provision of healthcare. With the invent of latest technologies in ICT sector especially 3G and 4G, the mHealth initiatives can cover medical and public healthcare practices supported by mobile devices; such as mobile phones, patient monitoring devices, personal digital assistants (PDAs), and other wireless devices. mHealth is an emerging and rapidly developing field which has the potential to play a part in the transformation of healthcare and increase its quality and efficiency. There are several solutions available for mHealth implementations in both developed and developing countries that can be used for learning and best practices in Pakistan. The three key specific areas like mHealth Innovations, mHealth Policy Support, and mHealth Strategic Implementations are recommended to initiate the deployment of mobile phones in healthcare system. It is essential for academic and research institutions to develop innovative eHealth and mHealth low-cost, scalable, and relevant to the local conditions solutions, which needs government financial support. Federal government along with provincial governments should work for definite legislation to promote the use of health informatics eHealth including mHealth in the country. It is essential that the government and the private organizations recognize the use of mHealth and include it as part of their organizational strategies to improve healthcare status. Pakistan should also develop a comprehensive eHealth policy, which includes mHealth as a significant component. The policy needs to be balanced by telecommunication architecture, standards, and strong affiliations to achieve mHealth projects. In policy making stage the key stakeholders such as the provincials and central ministries of Health and IT, Education, public and private commercial institutions, national and international non-governmental organizations should also be included in this effort.

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