Mobile healthcare via cell phone use is one of the primary reasons why cell phone subscriptions worldwide will hit 5 billion this year. International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Secretary-General Dr. Hamadoun Toure, who is attending the Mobile World Congress this week in Barcelona, Spain, believes that seemingly small features like medical appointment reminders have helped to better quality in developing nations.
"Even the simplest, low-end phone can do so much to improve healthcare in the developing world," Toure said, according to cnet. He also believes that SMS messages that help to instruct patients on how and when to take medications, have made a huge impact.
"It's such a simple thing to do, and yet it saves millions of dollars--and can help improve and even save the lives of millions of people," he said.
Meanwhile, Alex Sinclair--CTO of the Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA)--believes that "simpler guidelines for applications development using GSM technology" will lead to more overall connected devices in healthcare. According to ComputerWeekly, Sinclair expects to see "50 billion connected devices over the next 15 years."
The ITU also believes that mobile broadband subscriptions will surge past 1 billion this year. That number was at 600 million at the end of 2009.