Does mHealth suitable for the Indian population? analysing criticisms and possibilities

Susanna Gunamany


India is the second-largest country globally in terms of population, with two-thirds of the population living in rural areas. India has made a significant pace in improving the overall health scenario even with several existing hurdles like vast geographical area, lack of quality transport facilities, high population density and nutrition, illiteracy, and poverty in the past decade. India has an exponential increase in mobile phones that have covered a substantially higher number of rural households. Even though technological innovations, especially mHealth platforms, are growing in developing countries like India, it faces many criticisms. This paper aims to analyse whether mHealth is a potential tool for the Indian population or not. mHealth interventions can be used in different domains to improve the performance of health workers, such as data collection and reporting, decision support and training, emergency referrals, alerts and reminders and supervision and interaction with other members of the healthcare system. It also helps the health system manage the problem of healthcare personnel absenteeism and can be used as an alternative to telemedicine. However, mHealth apps may not be broad enough to provide a healthy environment that enables individuals and populations to adopt a healthy life. Our study highlights the importance of integrating beneficiary-specific factors in developing mHealth interventions. The pathways linking access to, and use of, mobile services with healthcare utilisation need an in-depth study to ensure effective planning, designing and implementation of mHealth interventions.


mHealth, Mobile phone, India, Public health, Health service, Health care utilisation

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