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The WHO notes critical healthcare workforce shortages in 57 countries—most of which are characterized as developing countries—and a global deficit of 2.4 million doctors, nurses, and midwives.The burden of disease is additionally much higher in low- and middle-income countries than high-income countries.
While m Health certainly has application for industrialized nations, the field has emerged in recent years as largely an application for developing countries, stemming from the rapid rise of mobile phone penetration in low-income nations.The figure does not include patients that use monitoring devices connected to a PC or mobile phone.It only includes systems that rely on monitors with integrated connectivity or systems that use monitoring hubs with integrated cellular or fixed-line modems.Countries in the European Region are currently the most active and those in the African Region the least active.The WHO report findings also included that m Health is most easily incorporated into processes and services that historically use voice communication through conventional telephone networks. The WHO notes an extreme deficit within the global healthcare workforce.These countries face a severe lack of human and physical resources, as well as some of the largest burdens of disease, extreme poverty, and large population growth rates.
Additionally, healthcare access to all reaches of society is generally low in these countries.
Participation does not imply just consumption of health care services.
In many cases remote users are valuable contributors to gather data regarding disease and public health concerns such as outdoor pollution, drugs and violence.
The term is most commonly used in reference to using mobile communication devices, such as mobile phones, tablet computers and PDAs, and wearable devices such as smart watches, for health services, information, and data collection.
The m Health field has emerged as a sub-segment of e Health, the use of information and communication technology (ICT), such as computers, mobile phones, communications satellite, patient monitors, etc., for health services and information.
The field, then, largely emerges as a means of providing greater access to larger segments of a population in developing countries, as well as improving the capacity of health systems in such countries to provide quality healthcare.