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GBCHealth Insights: How the Private Sector is Maximizing mHealth | March 2012

Private Sector and Partnerships Advance mHealth Around the World

Mobile technology is used to support the fight against TB 

Mobile health (mHealth) is an increasingly important component of global health solutions. Across sectors, the global health community has come to appreciate the promise and potential of technology, specifically mobile and social technology, in improving health outcomes. Mobile technology extends the reach and touch of health systems and can transform the way in which individuals receive real-time health information and manage their own care.

For example, SMS for Life is an innovative public-private partnership led by the Novartis Malaria Initiative, allowing health workers to report on stock levels of antimalarial medicines in remote areas of Tanzania. The program reduces stock-outs and ensures that patients have immediate access to treatment. A Johnson & Johnson partnership called MAMA (Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action) uses mobile technology to deliver vital health information to new and expectant mothers.

As the development world increasingly applies technology to solve global health challenges, GBCHealth is accumulating successful examples and data to show how mHealth partnerships are producing cutting-edge results. And companies across all industries have meaningful roles to play in getting there. Below we have a thought-provoking piece from Vicky Hausman of Dalberg Global Development Advisors on the role of partnerships in launching and growing mHealth initiatives.

In 2011, GBCHealth publicly entered the mHealth dialogue by signing on as a Strategic Affiliate to the mHealth Summit, the premiere conference on mHealth, where we launched our report on mHealth and hosted a panel. We highlighted the important and innovative work that our members are doing in this field and best practices for partnerships. In 2011, GBCHealth added a technology category to the annual Business Action on Health Awards. Find details about these initiatives, along with rich insights from member and partner programs, in this newsletter.

Realizing the Global mHealth Opportunity: The Role of Partnerships

Vicky Hausman, Associate Partner, Dalberg Global Development Advisors

Vicky Hausman, Associate Partner, Dalberg Global Development AdvisorsMobile technology has created more than five billion points of possible contact across health systems. Businesses have been quick to recognize the opportunities this presents for both social innovation and new commercial ventures. With the unprecedented information flow via mobile technology, companies can better understand the preferences of their consumers or beneficiaries, can secure and drive accountability throughout their supply chains and can create leaner systems for service delivery.

Overall, the use of mobile technology has tremendous potential to improve access, affordability and quality of healthcare delivery in the developing world. A growth in attention over the past three years has resulted in an increasing amount of experimentation and commitments from funders and backers of global health.

For businesses to effectively operate in the mHealth sector, an area that is still very much in its infancy, partnerships have become a key tool. Illustrating this point, major companies, including African operator giants MTN and Telefonica, recently cited partnerships as critical components to move mHealth beyond small scale pilots into a mainstream global opportunity.

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mHealth Promotes Tuberculosis Treatment Compliance and Education

March 21, 2012 | Virtual

Tuberculosis (TB) program implementers are increasingly looking to innovative mHealth platforms to expand their reach to at-risk populations. mHealth can improve the tracking of patient compliance, an essential part of the effort to curb the development of resistance to the current treatment options.

  • Mobile Direct Observed Therapy (MDOT) uses video and text messaging to improve treatment compliance
  • SIMpill is a medication compliance system that sends a text message to remind patients (or their caregivers) to take their medications
  • eMocha is a free mobile application that supports tuberculosis screening and education efforts in developing countries. For example, it plays multimedia courses and lectures on TB for health workers
To learn more about the role of the private sector in ending TB, join GBCHealth for an Expert Connections Teleconference on March 21, in advance of World TB Day. Members and partners will provide updates on the latest developments in the effort to rebrand and refuel the fight against TB.

RSVP Now »


New Technology: Health Goes Social

May 14-15, 2012 | New York City

2012 GBCHealth Conference will explore social healthThe 2012 GBCHealth Conference will explore the role of social media in improving global health with the session Social Health: How Our Increasingly Social World is Opening Up New Opportunities for Awareness, Prevention and Treatment of Disease. Panelists will share the best and most innovative ways to use social media to promote awareness, prevention and treatment of health challenges.

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GBCHealth Social Media Corps at the Conference: We are looking for motivated, digital-savvy students/young professionals to use social media to share the content of the GBCHealth conference beyond the venue walls. Applications are due March 23. Learn more

GBCHealth at the mHealth Summit

GBCHealth is gathering private sector insights on mHealthIn 2011, GBCHealth signed on as a Strategic Affiliate to the annual mHealth Summit, the premiere conference focusing on mHealth.

The December conference drew more than 3,500 leaders from nearly 50 countries, to explore the ways that mobile technology will transform health care delivery, research, business and policy for the 21st century in underserved communities in the U.S. and abroad, including the developing world. GBCHealth launched our report and hosted a panel on mHealth partnerships.

GBCHealth Panel: Building Partnerships that Work - Designing for Success and Scale: Panelists include executives from the Carlos Slim Health Institute, Dalberg, Deloitte, HP, USAID and Vodafone.

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GBCHealth Members Take the Lead on mHealth

mHealth is being scaled up across emerging and developed marketsEleven GBCHealth member companies across multiple industry sectors participated in 16 panels and keynotes at the 2011 mHealth Summit. Topics included the impact of mobile technology on the pharmaceutical industry; the wireless paradigm in the medical device industry; the clinical value of mHealth; mHealth business models in maternal health. Contributing members include: Abt Associates, Accenture, Deloitte, Edelman, Johns Hopkins University, Johnson & Johnson, Medtronic, Pfizer, Vodafone and World Vision International.

Interested in learning more about your colleagues’ experiences and insights on mHealth? Follow the link below for access to session overviews, presentations and videos.

Access the Overviews and Videos »

A View from the Summit | Key Highlights from the Conference Organizers

Rich Scarfo, Vice President, Vendor Events, HIMSS - Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society

The 2011 mHealth Summit held in December near Washington, D.C. provided new insights into the progress of mobile technologies in healthcare on a domestic and international level. The topic of business in mHealth took center stage at the conference, as did the power of mobile technologies to improve patient care and wellness.

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Implementer Insights: Partnership Fundamentals for mHealth and Beyond

GBCHealth Members Share Insights on mHealth PartnershipsmHealth is an emerging sector with tremendous promise and potential. As players in mHealth seek to move beyond existing, small pilots and create mainstream, global opportunities, partnerships will play an essential role. Read practical tips in our mHealth report from leaders who have been successfully using mobile technology to address health issues and increase impact. The contributors offer candid advice, best practices and lessons learned.

Publication: Building Partnerships that Work - Practical Learning on Partnering in mHealth: With contributions from the Carlos Slim Health Institute, Chevron Nigeria Ltd., Dalberg, Deloitte, HP, Intel Corporation, mHealth Working Group, Nokia, Novartis, Rio Tinto, UNICEF Tech4Dev, USAID Bureau for Global Health and Vodafone.

Q&A: Elements of Successful Partnerships

Paul Ellingstad, Director, Office of Global Social Innovation, HP

HPFollowing the 2011 mHealth Summit, GBCHealth sat down with Paul Ellingstad to hear more about HP's global health programs and partners. Using its expertise in innovative technology and collaborations with partners like the Clinton Health Access Initiative, HP is leading the way in creating mHealth solutions.

Read the Q&A »

Download the Q&A »

Award-Winning Technology in Health Programs

Business Action on Health Awards Recognize Leaders in mHealthGBCHealth members across a variety of sectors are using mobile technology to improve health outcomes, including Business Action on Health award-winning companies Abbott Foundation, HP and Novartis. Click below to learn more about these exemplary programs.

Stay tuned for the winners of the 2012 Business Action on Health Awards to be presented at our Conference and Awards Dinner on May 14-15, 2012.

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Are You Using Technology to Advance Health? We Want to Know!

Do you have a program that leverages technology – mobile or otherwise – or social media to drive positive health outcomes? We want to hear from you! Please contact us at


Photo credits (from top to bottom): Courtesy of Stop TB; Courtesy of Vicky Hausman; Courtesy of UNICEF; © 2006 Joitske Hulsebosch, Courtesy of Photoshare; Courtesy of Intel; Courtesy of UNICEF, Frog Design; © 2005 George Onyango, Courtesy of Photoshare