The Promise of Mobile Technologies for the Health Care System in the Developing World: A Systematic Review
IEEE Reviews in Biomedical Engineering
Evolution of mobile technologies and their rapid penetration to people's daily lives, especially in the developing countries, have highlighted mobile health, or m-health, as a promising solution to improve health outcomes. Several studies have been conducted that characterize the impact of m-health solutions in resource-limited settings and assess their potential to improve health care. The aim of the present paper is twofold: i) present an overview of the background and significance of
... and ii) summarize and discuss the existing evidence for the effectiveness of m-health in the developing world. A systematic search in the literature was performed in Pubmed, Scopus, as well as reference lists, and a broad sample of 98 relevant articles was identified which were then categorized into five wider m-health categories. Although statistically significant conclusions cannot be drawn since the majority of studies relied on small scale trials and limited assessment of long term effects, this paper provides a systematic and extensive analysis of the advantages, disadvantages, and challenges of m-health in developing countries in an attempt to determine future research directions of m-health interventions. Index Terms-mobile technologies, mobile health, m-health, developing countries, health care system, developing world, lowresource settings, low-and middle-income countries.