Posted on June 08, 2011

Experts from the Qtel Group are meeting in South Africa this week, taking part in the first-ever GSMA-mHA Mobile Health Summit in Cape Town.

The participation is part of the Qtel Group’s efforts to build new strategic alliances to help support the development of mobile health in the Middle East, Asia and North Africa. At the event, 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.

Demand for mobile-supported healthcare solutions is rising around the world, with approximately 17 percent of Smartphone customers deploying health-related applications. It is estimated that 500 million people will have health-related applications on their Smartphones by 2015.

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.

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 percent of the population. Another good example on implementation of mHealth solutions across is the Group, is the launch of a first-ever mHealth initiative by Wataniya Maldives. 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 Mobile Health Summit with a view to expanding the range of options for customers across its regional markets.

The distribution of healthcare services through mobile platforms is life-changing for billions of people. People in underdeveloped societies lack healthcare services and would benefit from receiving basic care through remote diagnosis, wellness tutorials and basic emergency care. The mission of GSMA-mHA Mobile Health Summit is to bring to light best practices across the world. The event runs until 9 June 2011 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.