The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies, has signed a partnership agreement with healthcare company Bupa to collaborate on a four-year global mobile health initiative to fight chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular and chronic respiratory diseases, in low- and middle-income countries.
Called "Be Healthy, Be Mobile," the first phase of the initiative was launched in October 2012 to deploy mHealth interventions in areas such as diabetes, smoking cessation, hypertension, and wellness and training of health workers. More than 25 countries have expressed interest in participating in the program, which is led by ITU and the World Health Organization. Currently, a smoking cessation program leveraging mobile phones is underway in Costa Rica.
Bupa, an international company with 14 million customers in over 190 countries, will contribute knowledge and technology to support the adoption of mHealth interventions by governments to address prevention and treatment of NCDs and their common risk factors, including tobacco use, diet, stress and physical inactivity. Announcement