The Context

Tremendous progress has been made to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by their 2015 expiration date, but gaps remain, particularly in MDGs 4, 5 and 6, which relate to maternal and child health and diseases like malaria.

Technology – in the form of mobile health (mHealth), electronic health (eHealth), and what is more comprehensively known as “digital health” – can strengthen public health systems in low- and middle-income countries and help address these gaps. This includes the use of mobile phones to record births, report disease outbreaks, and support families and health workers with critical health information as well as tablets and computers to register patients, track lab results, and report on the overall performance of the health system. Over the last decade, mHealth in particular has improved health outcomes through increased coverage of proven health interventions, higher quality care, and lower costs.

A recent study of the socio-economic impact of mHealth conducted by the Boston Consulting Group found that targeted mHealth interventions can save lives and reduce healthcare costs significantly. Following increased awareness of these benefits, many low- and middle-income countries have already developed eHealth strategies and policies, prioritized digital health projects, and identified hundreds of promising health-related technologies.

The Challenge

Despite advancements in the use of technology to strengthen health systems and improve health outcomes, countries face persistent challenges in implementation. Often, it is difficult for countries to bring coherence to tens of hundreds of systems and applications, mitigate the risks of large-scale investment, and bridge the “know-do gap” to actually develop and implement supportive policies and capacity. The result is that thousands of digital health pilots have launched, yet very few are reaching scale.

HealthEnabled's Solution

Recognizing the complexity of implementing effective digital health interventions, HealthEnabled was launched to activate effective integrated digital health systems and supportive health policies in low- and middle-income countries. HealthEnabled advises governments and health programs, facilitates connections among experts, and promotes best practices in digital health.