Diabetics in Kuwait, Iraq and Palestine can now use their mobile phones to receive personalized alerts and information on exercise and diet, thanks to a new mHealth service being offered by Qtel Group companies there. Qtel Group will soon be offering this service in other countries where it is present.
Representatives from the Qtel Group and from some of the world’s most innovative companies recently met in Qatar to discuss such innovations to mobile healthcare as well as how mobile phone technology can be used to support key healthcare goals across the region.
Collaborating with the global mobile association, the GSMA, the Qtel Group is organising a series of workshops on the subject of “mHealth”, as part of a wider series of international events held with the mHealth Alliance, a campaign to champion the use of mobile technologies to improve health throughout the world. Mobile health, or “mHealth,” is a term used for the practice of medicine using wireless devices, such as mobile phones, PDAs and remote monitoring devices, to improve patient care.
Global studies have shown that involving mobile devices in the practice of healthcare can have an immediate and significant impact. In remote locations and for rural communities, it can provide a vital link to physicians and healthcare advisors. In major cities, it can deliver incredible savings. US operator Verizon estimates, according to reports, that mobile broadband can improve health care productivity in the US to the tune of US$6.9 billion, which could increase nearly eight-fold by 2016.
Hosted at the W Doha hotel, representatives from across Qtel’s Group of companies gathered together to gain a greater understanding on the dynamics of the health industry and how operators can make a difference to both patients and societies worldwide. The workshop also explored how specific OpCos in the Qtel Group could take advantage of key opportunities in this sector within their own markets and help to build sustainable mHealth eco-systems.
Additional presentations on the day included mHealth case studies highlighting ongoing and scalable mHealth strategies that are already underway.
A major part of the Qtel Group’s ongoing strategy is to enhance the mHealth offering for all its customers. Representatives at the event included delegates from Qtel Qatar, Indosat, Wataniya Kuwait, Nawras, Asiacell, Nedjma, Tunisiana, Bravo, Wataniya Maldives, Wataniya Palestine, which between them cover mobile markets across the Middle East, North Africa and Asia.
The workshop series extended to a second day in Qatar that focused specifically on the health needs of Qatar for both the public and private sectors. For the second day of the workshop, representatives from Qtel Qatar were joined by Dr. Faleh Mohammad Hussain, Assistant Secretary General for Policy Affairs, of the Supreme Council of Health in Qatar, Dr. Foziyah Abdulla, Director of E-health and Information Technology at the Supreme Council of Health in Qatar as well as mobile health and ICT platform providers from Qatar and private sector healthcare partners within the country.
“We are really pleased to be working with the Qtel Group to bring this workshop series here to Doha; mobile is increasingly playing a significant role within healthcare and is supporting healthcare services across the globe,” said Dr. Craig Fridericks, Director of Health, GSMA. We are working with mobile network operators (MNO) worldwide to highlight how they can implement mHealth initiatives into the market that will offer significant health and lifestyle benefits to end users.”